Simple wooden gates are the catch-all solution to the entrance of your property or field. More traditional and rustic than metal, wooden gates, with their more natural, organic look, tend to add ambiance to your property. They can come in many different forms and styles, closed or open with single leaf or double leaf formats, which is also practical for enclosing smaller livestock and keeping pets safe.
You can choose between softwood and hardwood, which is a choice that ultimately comes down to durability and price. Softwood will need to be treated for use outdoors (most now come pre-treated, but check) and only have an expected service life of 15 years compared to hardwood’s 30, but they are also considered the more environmentally friendly option due to the softwood trees being mainly grown and farmed in Europe.
Metal field gates are arguably more practical. They are really common on farms due to their versatility and durability. They are strong, made from aluminum or steel and are perfect when matched with the right fencing system, keeping livestock in or people out. Farmers and landowners can opt for strong galvanised metal gates with a 7-rail format designed to hold in large stock, or 6-rail versions (often with additional wire mesh) for smaller animals. Looked after properly, metal gates should last a lifetime, however if you do get problems they can be expensive to fix. Cost-wise metal tends to be more expensive than, say softwood, but metal gates can work out cheaper in the long run due to their longevity.
Metal gates come in a wide range of sizes and configurations with many designed for specific purposes. For example, deer dates that provide a safe barrier and access to deer. Whether to influence behaviour or control population, deer gates are specialist so as to not cause harm but give access. There are lots of other specialist configurations such as for cows, pigs and horses.
Cattle grids are effectively metal gates that are embedded in the ground to provide vehicular access while deterring livestock such as cattle from roaming. The gap, specially positioned between the steel struts, mean a human foot or vehicle tire can pass easily but a hoof such as on a cow cannot. Perfect for high traffic areas, other perks of the cattle grid, beyond not having to continual dismount from a vehicle to open and shut a gate are that it will need minimal maintenance since it is made of metal, and is also less of an eyesore as it is flat over the ground.
Right of way gates
There are a number of options to explore if you wish to keep livestock penned whilst giving pedestrians access. kissing gates are an obvious choice and can be constructed from metal or wood. A kissing gate is also a good option if you have limited space.
If you need to allow access to those on horseback, you might consider a bridle gate, which allows for the right to roam while keeping your horse and rider safe.
Security is of key importance and gates can play a major role in protecting property from theft as well as acting as a deterrent. Security gates can come in a range of designs with lots of additional features such as upside down hinges to prevent gates being lifted. A typical set up would involve high-grade steel security gates with a galvanised finish. These are strong, long lasting, reliable and secure to prevent criminals from entering or trespassing on your property and land. Remember a gate is only as good as its lock, so invest wisely in quality locks. A weld-on hasp on a padlock can be very effective and padlocks need to be enclosed, not exposed. Good padlocks also need to be serviced, if they are to last.