1/59 FORSYTH ST., O’CONNOR, WA, 6163

Victorian Compliant Orchard Netting Structures

All netted orchard structures in Victoria are now required to be compliant with new regulations.

The regulations were introduced to minimise harm to small mammals and birds, and in particular bats.  The problem was that the animals were becoming trapped in netting designed to protect fruit crops.   This was particularly common if the netting being used was either loosely draped, or had a larger mesh size.

As a result, all netting used in non-commercial, or household orchards and gardens is now required to have an aperture of less than 5mm.  This is measured along each side of the mesh when it is pulled tight.

Do the regulations apply to me?

 The Department of Agriculture hasn’t provided definitions of a household, hobby farm or commercial operation.  Rather they’ve said, if under Tax Office rules, growing fruit is a business for you, then you are exempt from the 5mm mesh size rule.

If growing fruit is not a business activity for you, then any netting that you use to protect crops on your property will need to comply with the new rules for Victorian Compliant Orchard netting.

This includes both throw over or temporary netting, as well as netting used in the building of permanent orchard structures.

Bird netting with a Frame

To date, the netting used to build our permanent EZBuild structures has been 1 ¼”, which is too large to be used in Victoria under the new regulations.

The 1 ¼” netting has several characteristics that make it ideally suited for installing as a part of permanent orchard structure builds.

The netting is:

  • Resistant to damage – the netting we use is knotted not knitted. This means that if the netting is damaged the tear will only go as far as the next knot.  It won’t weaken the whole section.
  • Long Lasting – the netting is made with 400 denier, 6 ply twine that is UV stabilised. This means we can offer a ten year pro rata guarantee with the netting.
  • And it’s easy to work with. The netting can be tensioned to create an effective and long-lasting structure ideal for protecting your fruit crops.

We have been working with our suppliers to source a compliant netting.  We wanted something that won’t harm wildlife, will protect your edible crops, and still offer the longevity and strength of our current product.  Plus, it had to be easy to work with.

 Bat Friendly Orchard Netting

Launching in August 2023, we will have new Victorian Compliant Orchard netting. Designed specifically for the requirements of the Victorian market, this new netting will be bat friendly.

The 5mm sided aperture netting will be made from the same materials as our tried and tested current netting product.  So, we are confident in both strength and the durability of this new product.

It will also work with the EZBuild installation system.  Crackpots will be able to supply you with the plans, hardware, and netting for your own DIY Orchard Structure install.

The new 5mm netting will be able to be pulled taut across the structure.  This reduces the risk of entanglement for animals.  Additionally, orchard structures are designed to sit one metre above the canopy of your fruiting trees, so there is less attraction for bats and birds to land on the netting to try and access the fruit immediately under the netting.


If you’re interested in learning more about our new 5mm netting, either call on 08 9337 2211 or email us below.

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