Hedge Laying & Tree Planting
Do you see that smile on my face?
That’s a thank you and a thank goodness I am not trying to do it all!
The help I have had this winter from so many people has been amazing, thank you. I hope you had fun and enjoyed the cake.
The winter, post Christmas when the berries have gone is the time to work on hedgerows to increase their longevity and ensure they are a really viable home for nature. I also had trees to plant.
Let me take you though what has been achieved.
Tree planting next to the new ghost ponds.
- We planted a mix of species. Shrubs and trees. So Hawthorn, Dog Rose, Elder and Oak, Wild Cherry, Crab Apple, Grey Willow to name but a few.
- The idea is that they will form a dense thicket, perfect for nesting birds and cover for other animals using the ponds.
- They will also shelter the ponds and we hope help prevent evaporation.
Dead Hedge Making
- Yes, we used tree guards to protect against small mammals. I ordered biodegradable ones, hmm I thought when they arrived….. But we are also making dead hedges.
- The dead hedge uses the clippings from the hedge laying and hedge regeneration. They are woven or piled between coppiced hazel stakes. The idea is they form a taller barrier which we can add to over time and it will help protect the young plants from deer when the trees show their heads above the top of the tree guards.
- All material will, in time, compost down and in the meantime the ‘dead hedges’ may also be useful nesting sites for birds this spring.
- One hedge row is now a combination of trees and large shrubs. The shrubs, if left, will grow old and die.
- So we chopped some right down to the ground. The plant should be able to regrow from the base to help from a new dense hedge. This extends the life of the plant.
- In places we laid over the smaller stems. They will help create a barrier and also produce new shoots.
- Finally we gap filled with native whips (twigs with roots really!) to get that hedge going again.
- This is my brand new skill!
- I have a lot to lay, only managed 23m this winter but it was a learning curve. I had help from Neil and Fred, old hands who have laid so many hedges over the years and they were happy to teach me.
- We did not use stakes and binders and we did employ a fairly natural style retaining many of the twiggy branches. Whist the skill level required to do this is much less it still achieves the same outcome: a strong stock proof hedge, really thick which can be managed as it grows outwards each year. I am delighted and next year I just need to tackle the other 100m….!
Thank You to:
- All the volunteers who said yes to my newsletter and social media requests.
- Neil & Fred the professional hedge layers
- DAC Planning
- Anne Thomas Photography
- The Waste Management Team at the East Anglian Environment Agency.