Ami Walker – Conservation Land Management Adviser
370m of new hedge might sound good to you – but maybe not amazing
So let me explain why I think it is……
- 370m of hedge = 111 hollies + 1776 hawthorns + 333 blackthorns + 10 trees (oak, bird cherry and crab apple)
- Hedge Planting Team = 2 Conservation Graduate Trainees + 5 National Park Modern Apprentices and their 1 leader + 18 National Park Volunteers and their 2 leaders + the farmer + his children + me
- The hedge was planted as part of our National Park’s Linking Landscapes Project
- The hedge will allow safe passage for wildlife between two woods which were isolated habitats in the landscape
- It will provide food and shelter for birds, small mammals and invertebrates
- The Graduate Trainees have learnt how a hedge planting project is progressed from selecting a site, setting up an Agreement with the farmer and the hedge being planted.
- The Apprentices now have new skills and knowledge that will help them achieve the NVQ Level 3 in Environmental Conservation that they are studying for
- The dedicated Volunteers gave their time for free. This project helped them to understand the importance of the great work they do and how it fits in with National Park objectives.
- The entire team now know about the concepts behind the Linking Landscapes project and can pass that knowledge on to others
- The farmer’s cattle will have shelter from the cold winds that blow across the hill that the hedge is planted on.
- The new hedge is a feature in the local farmland landscape. The hedge can be seen in the landscape by motorists and walkers that use the footpath running parallel to the hedge will now get a living hedge to walk next to rather than just a fence.
- Two local businesses were supported – the hedge plants and trees came from a local nursery and the stock proof fence that will protect the hedge from grazing animals will be erected by a local contractor.
- It was a great team effort we all worked very hard and we laughed a lot too. There was a massive sense of achievement when the last plant went in the ground.
- I very rarely get out on the ground to do practical tasks. To have been the person that did the first negotiations with the farmer to agree where the hedge would be planted, then working with such a great team and to see the last plant go in the ground gave me masses of job satisfaction.
But there’s more. The National Park have provided extra hedge plants to the farmer – and he’s going to be planting more hedgerow himself – so all in all, once he’s finished = 560m of hedgerow