The deer grid in Colin Weaver’s Ten Mile Point driveway is probably not the first on Vancouver Island, but there was no pre-made option.
Instead, he hired local contractors Joe Kelly and Gary Page to make it, the first they’d ever done.
“They were already here working on the property when we talked about the idea,” Weaver said.
“I much prefer the deer grid to the idea of gate, it’s easier, you can come and go without waiting [for the gate to open and close].”
Deer are rampant in Ten Mile Point and the surrounding neighbourhoods. Many believe the deer are eating plants they normally don’t. Weaver doesn’t want his garden limited to deer-resistant plant species.
“I grew up in [rural] England where cattle grids are commonplace and now deer grids are too,” he said.
In fact, he found a company that manufactures deer grids in the U.K. but the cost of shipping one across the ocean was not worth it. So Page and Kelly designed one of similar width, about 15 feet across, and contracted Mainline Welding in Sidney to fabricate it.
It will keep deer and cougars (they have been on the property), from entering through the driveway. A traditional gate was built next to the driveway entrance for the Weaver family dog.
They did find another one in Saanich but it isn’t near the same dimensions as Weaver’s.
“Each section of the steel piping is 800 pounds,” Page said. “And underneath the piping is a cement foundation reinforced with rebar.”
The grid’s foundation also has a built-in drain, and any detritus from the many trees and shrubs in Weaver’s yard can be “blown out” by a leaf blower.
“It can support fire trucks and moving trucks, no problem, that was one of the key challenges for us,” Weaver said.
Eric Dahli, president of the Cadboro Bay Residents Association, admires the deer grid. He wants Saanich to consider raising the wall height of properties beyond the current limit of 1.5 metres.
“They eat nearly everything you plant, but you can’t keep them out, why not,” Dahli said.
Despite the deer grid, Weaver expects he’ll still have visitors of the ungulate type. They just won’t be as frequent.
“If they want to get in, they can get in, they can jump six feet high. But they won’t do it through the driveway.”