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Recently I had to do some work on the fence that separates the end of our garden from the public footpath beyond. It is a fence made up of vertical feather-edge boards nailed to horizontal 3m arris rails, suspended from concrete posts. I hadn't realised the state it was in because of the bushes that grow in front of it in our garden. The worst problem was the arris rails, most of which had rotted, especially at the ends that fitted into the sockets in the posts.
I decided to replace all of the vertical boards, even the ones that weren't in too bad a state, so that I could use longer ones, ones that would reach closer to the ground, without actually touching it. The old boards stop about 10 cms from the ground and the local cats seem to think this is an invitation to wander into our garden and poo in the flower beds! I wanted to disabuse them of that idea.
There are five sections to the fence and, not only did I want to replace the verticals I also wanted to overlap them to two thicknesses, so as to strengthen the whole fence. There have been instances of local hooligans pulling off boards, or bits of them. That would mean that I would need twice as many new boards as old ones, with the associated expense.
I did a lot of researching to try to find somewhere where I could get all the materials I needed at a reasonable cost. I was shocked by just how much I was being asked in most of the places I tried. Arris rails varied in price from nearly £4 each right up to a truly unbelievable £8.50 at Travis Perkins!
Eventually I came across Beaumont Forest; I'm glad I did. Beaumont Forest is located between Ascot and Bagshot. You'll see the sign at the side of the road as you travel down Kings Ride. They are down a shortish track and situated in a large compound. There is a customer car park opposite the gates but if you need to load up then you drive into the compound itself.
Beaumont Forest has a huge range of wood of all different types and uses. The quality seems good and the guy helping me load up with the stuff I needed took great care to weed out any items that weren't entirely undamaged. He rejected pieces I would have been happy to accept!
Most of all, the prices are just about the best I found anywhere in the area. Arris rails, unshaped, for instance are £3 each. 150mm x 1.80m feather-edge boards are £1.20 each. All the wood is already treated against rot. I didn't have any need to reject any of the wood I bought; all of it was excellent.
If you live in the the North Surrey, Berkshire and North Hampshire area and need some wood for a DIY project then Beaumont Forest in Ascot would be a very good first stop for the things you need. They also have other depots in Hoddesdon and High Wycombe. Have a look at their website for more details. They're as cheap, if not cheaper, even than B&Q and their range is far bigger.