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How Blok ‘N’ Mesh developed a new security product for the National Grid

Around six years ago, the National Grid was looking for a temporary but secure fencing system as they embarked on a major upgrade of substations around the country. In addition to wanting this product to be more secure than standard mesh fencing, they also specified that all the components, including the ballast, needed to be hand portable as many locations would not be accessible by a forklift. Step forward Blok ‘N’ Mesh with Defender™.

“It was a system that was already being called for by customers” explained Head of Product Design, Tim Stewart. “We had the industry standard temporary fencing product which you’ll see on most construction sites, whilst at the other end of the scale, we had developed a very high security product called PolMil® for the 2012 Olympics and has since been approved for use at all manner of sensitive locations such as airports, government facilities and licensed nuclear sites.”

The National Grid’s engineers and security personnel twice visited Blok ‘N’ Mesh’s factory and test facility in Knowsley during development of this new, intermediate product. This included physical attack testing by simulated mobs! Once the design was finalised, the National Grid approved 2.4 and 3m high versions with 200kg of ballast every 2.5m giving optimum balance between security and portability.

Since 200kg is far from being “hand portable” the system used individual 50kg, plastic coated ballast blocks, which are a two-person lift. Four of these blocks stacked together provided the 200kg ballast required.”

As an approved system, contractors for the National Grid were naturally early adopters, indeed many are reusing the same components they bought five years ago, however contractors working on high profile or sensitive civil engineering projects are frequently drawn to the flexibility of the system combined with the extra stability and security it provides.

Starting from January 2023, the range will see its first major update, with, among other improvements, a simplified range of fixings, redesigned posts and more flexible stackable base units.

As Tim explains “This is simply a result of customer feedback. The changes will enable quicker and simpler installation.” 

If you would like to find out more, contact the team at Blok N Mesh on 0870 950 57 88 or email

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