Dogged with doubts over fencing our children in

A safety fence may be for a child – or a pet's – own good, but that doesn't mean they won't see it as a challenge to be leapt over, says Steve Eddison

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We have had a new fence installed in our back garden. It consists of seven 1.5-metre-high panels that have been pressure treated against rot and fungal decay. Subject to a number of maintenance conditions, it is guaranteed to last 15 years. And because Mrs Eddison insisted on it being aesthetically pleasing it came with an elegant trellis, flowing lines and an eye-watering price tag.

But its primary function is not to enhance our garden, it is to prevent Scruffy running away to the big wide world beyond. He arrived at our house last spring, having come all the way from the mean streets of ...

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