Thieves with an arsenal of tools have little trouble knocking a loosely hung padlock from a gate, so if you’re protecting anything of any value then it might be worth upgrading your security.

If you’re after a decent alternative to a padlock then the Zedlock should give them a bit more to think about, so Farmers Weekly tried one out to see how it works.

It doesn’t cost much more than a decent padlock and uses a zinc-plated steel box to protect a standard Union five-lever lock mechanism.

It should slot neatly between the frame and flat bar on most metal or wooden farm gates. All you’ll need for the job is a cordless drill with a 12mm bit and a hole file to tidy up the rough bits.

The key (excuse the pun) to getting the lock working is to make sure your gate is hanging straight.

Once tweaked, you can get on with drilling the two holes using an adhesive template to get them in the right place, first with a small pilot bit and then with a 12mm bit.

These are used to hold the 98x102mm locking mechanism to the gate through two M10 hex-headed bolts that can’t be got at once the gate is locked.

The main hole for the bolt can be the same one used by the previous springbolt. It’ll just need boring out to 22mm using the hole cutter provided, and may need tidying with a file to make sure the bolt runs smoothly. The bevelled cut of the bolt end should help with that, too.

The long bolt throw means the Zedlock can be used on gates even where the post sits as far as 50mm from the end of the gate.

The unit can also be used with double gates, although it’s important that these both sit squarely and fitting is a bit more complicated.

Fitting for a single gate takes about 15 minutes and it is possible to match all the locks to the same key for £5/piece.