Tuesday, 28 February 2017

Hedge restoration

The South boundary hedge of our orchard forms part of the parish boundary between Turnditch Parish and the Shottle and Postern Parish. Most of the hedge was restored by us when we took over the land. It was a neglected hedgerow which had been left to grow unchecked. We employed a professional hedger to re-lay the hedge a couple of years ago.  Where it has been restored it is a dense and healthy hedge comprising mainly of blackthorn, though there are other species such as holly, dog rose, and hazel growing.

However a section of the hedge, between the old large ash tree and the footpath, has long since vanished to be replaced by wire stock fencing. The section is about 30 metres long. I've no information as to why it was removed. However, this Spring (2017), we are planning to replant the hedge with the objective of letting it grow for a few years before having it laid in the traditional local fashion. We've chosen native hedging plants which match those already growing in the area. The hedging will be primarily Hawthorn with some Hazel, Ash and Dog Rose added in to the mix. There's already a couple of crab apple saplings from the orchard growing in that section

The plants will be protected by the existing wire fence and rabbit guard spirals. The greatest risk of damage is from sheep in the neighbouring field. We'll be dipping the roots of the plants in Rootgrow at the time of planting to help them develop good roots and have a good start in life.

Update: 10th March.   I've just returned from a planting session. We're about two thirds through the planting work having planted 75 bare root plants. The work has been slowed by the heavy clay which has, in the past ownership, been dumped on top of the top soil. There's also the odd block or two of concrete in the way. The young bushes/trees include: mostly Hawthorn, some Blackthorn, Field Maple, Hazel, Dog Rose, Bird Cherry.

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