Making and Mending Hedges

from Edward, who is a landowner-farmer- conservationist in the valley….

One of my roles on the farm is to do the quirkier jobs, which are often those with an environmental angle, for that is my wont.

I am currently restoring stretches of hedgerow.  I like my hedges to be thick, from the base up to the top. Sometimes larger gaps (1metre+) develop, often as a result of elder (Sambucus nigra) or other overly competitive species getting too strong a foothold.

Nether Cerne new hedgeSo my current project involves physically planting baby hedge plants (which are about 2-3 foot tall) into gaps at 6 to the metre (in a double row – i.e. 3 in each metre of row).  These are then protected from rabbits with plastic (yuk) spirals, and from deer by pulling in material cut from elsewhere in the hedge.  I have over 1000 of these fellows to plant, so that should keep me busy for a while.

Nether Cerne laid hedge

There are stretches of hedge where I can “lay” neighbouring material to in-fill the gap.  This layed material will sprout up along its now-near-horizontal stem with amazing vigour.  All in all, it is a very satisfying job.  And one that I hope that small mammals and nesting birds will also approve of.