No sitting on the fence at Jacksons as firm celebrates 65th anniversary

Richard Jackson, managing director of Jacksons Fencing Picture: Carla Wessel
Richard Jackson, managing director of Jacksons Fencing Picture: Carla Wessel

Richard Jackson, managing director of Jacksons Fencing

Sixty five years ago, father and son Harry and Ian Jackson left war-scarred London for farming life in the less ravaged Garden of England.

But before they could do much work on their 120 acres, they purchased fencing stakes. Ian and former Times typesetter Harry were surprised to find that neighbours were asking them if the stakes were for sale.

Their future direction was set. They went from farming to fencing, although Ian also came up with an innovative “quadrapod” for stacking hay.

Ian’s son Richard was born in 1955 when the fencing business was already well established, supplying principally to the agricultural and equestrian sectors. “We fell into fencing by mistake,” he says. In 1970, the business moved into the residential market. In time, Richard became CEO and chairman.

Workforce numbers grew from four to 250 today, some 200 at the firm’s HQ in Stowting.

It is now a national business, using mainly chestnut from coppiced Forestry Commission sites, and softwood pine, but also metal for security purposes.

Around 8% of the firm’s £24m turnover is generated overseas.

The firm continued to train and market during the downturn and the gamble has paid off with steady growth. “We took a hit in recession as everyone did but we’re back to pre-recession levels,“ says Mr Jackson. “A number of fencing companies have ceased trading and we’re getting an element of work from them. Part of our philosophy is to continue to give exceptional customer service.”

Mr Jackson, who left school at 16 and was destined to follow in the family’s fencing footsteps, is expecting organic growth, with perhaps some from of acquisition.

The 20-acre site could accommodate another 40 to 50 staff. Despite the housing downturn, homeowners are improving their properties and offering further business opportunities.

Jacksons has become one of the biggest fencing firms in the UK – around 11th or 12th.

He loves the sector. “Every day is different. It gives me a buzz - there’s always something to do.”

Close This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies.Learn More