Spruce wood to bolster notorious Grand National fences at Aintree

World-famous and notoriously difficult fences at Aintree's Grand National racetrack are to be bulked out with 60 tonnes of spruce wood this year.

Timber from Grizedale Forest in south Cumbria will be built into the 30 jumps for the Aintree Grand National from 2 - 4 April.

Fence building began a month before the four-and-a-half-mile Grand National, which will test the mettle of 40 competitors in front of 70,000 spectators.

Andy Bennett, a Forestry Commission manager, said: "It's been a long-held tradition to source branches from surplus trees in Grizedale Forest.

"Many of the branches are from trees felled by people having chainsaw assessments and training. Instead of going to waste, the wood is recycled."

The Chair is the tallest and toughest fence on the Grand National course, at 1.6m high, with a 1.8m ditch on the take-off side.

Each fence is made of wood and dressed with distinctive green branches of spruce direct from Grizedale and supplied by local firm Landcare.

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