Over the last week we have made a start on managing the hedges in the car park. They were first laid in October and November 2016 and other than a little trimming of the sides and the top they have been left to thicken up and shoot up.

Now is the time to give them a boost by encouraging them to put on new growth and thicken up further.  Last week the side facing the middle car park section was faced up by removing all the twigs and branches that poke outwards.

Just starting...

Getting there...

Car park revealed - just got to work on the tops now

This was the main task at this stage and was followed by the removal of some of the height from the hedge too.  By the end of a long day we had gained and extra metre of width on the car park but required the tractor and trailer to get rid of all the prunings!

The next task will be to cut back the reed on the opposite side so that the hedge can be accessed and pruned from the other side and the height properly reduced.  All of this will let in more light and encourage more fresh growth this spring which will in turn provide better nesting habitat for small birds and a wealth of insects.

Today was all about the small sinuous hedge outside of the shop and here there was the opportunity to accomplish (almost) everything on one day using the same procedure as on the first hedge.  There was even the opportunity to pleach in a couple of new tall pieces of Field Maple that were tall and straight enough to be woven into the old hedge structure.

An early morning start looking at the job in hand...

A small gap to see how it will look - lots to do

Coming along...

Back up stairs to check on progress...

Nearly to the end...

A last check before the final push...

By the end of the day it was done with the new hedge height being about 20cm above the top of the stakes in the laid hedge with a Hawthorn left as a standard at one end and a Field Maple at the other.

All done...

Just the brash to remove later this week

The hedge is in fine condition and should leaf up lovely come the spring.  Robins and house sparrows were in the hedge all day while the work was going on along with a couple of our furry brown rat friends, a Cetti’s warbler and a wren.

The only job left is for the Thursday Work Party to help dispose of the enormous pile of brash that was generated!

Anonymous