Barry Smith, Head Gardener, National Trust, Stowe Landscape Gardens says "Here at Stowe we have taken the decision to fence some of our notable trees with two rail cleft fencing. This traditional style adds significantly to the wider landscape and helps us to manage these trees in their maturing years. One of our aims is to reduce the impact that grazing can have on trees. Animals can often chew the bark or use the tree for shelter; causing soil compaction problems. Also where animals dung, nutrient levels tend to rise and these excess levels can often harm any beneficial fungi growing on the trees root system. Cleft fencing which encompasses the whole canopy spread quickly weathers well and gives the tree the space and protection it needs for many years to come." This is really excellent news and a great demonstration for other special tree owners.
Source: Ancient Tree Forum