Wednesday, 3 April 2013

Rural craft in good hands

The sight of a newly laid hedge is pleasing both for the aesthetic appearance and also for good conservation value. This craft is still popular in the valley and several sympathetic landowners are still managing their hedges in this way as along Cogges Lane by Rushy Common Nature Reserve. Professional hedgelayers, Derek and Mike, have been very busy over the winter and their work at Cogges Lane has resulted in a fine example of restoring an overgrown and unmanaged, old hedge. It might look rather severe at first but it will soon thicken up and provide a much better habitat for birds, invertebrates and small mammals.

The initial appearance of a laid hedge varies enormously depending on what the hedge was like before. This hedge at Cogges Lane had a lot of gaps between old trees so the newly laid hedge looks quite thin in places at the moment.

On Standlake Common Nature Reserve volunteers, Martin and Jim, had easier material to work with as the trees were only planted ten years ago to provide a screen for the nature reserve lake.

The trees were close together and the result is a nice thick hedge.
Laying a new hedge like this will give it a solid foundation for the future and create a much better habitat for invertebrates, nesting birds and small mammals.

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