Some people don’t consider timber fencing to be sustainable, but much depends on where the timber comes from. Many fencing contractors use pine that is grown especially for such needs, so it could be said to be a sustainable source. However, pine is a softwood; it will need to be painted regularly to keep the water out so it doesn’t rot.
If you are intent of having a timber fence, there are other places to source the timber from apart from what the contractor offers. Here are a few examples.
Old railway sleepers – this is hardwood with still plenty of use in it and is ideal for fences. While hardwood is more difficult to hammer a nail into without drilling it first, it will certainly last for ages and using it saves the waste of it being burned as rubbish, just because it has been replaced by concrete sleepers.
Bridge decking – can be cut up into lengths suitable for a fence and will last for many more years when it doesn’t have to be strong enough to hold the weight of vehicles crossing it.
Piers – any kind of timber that has been used for piers or other used in water is the kind that will not break down easily.