Hedgerow Restoration and Management
We ran weekend courses to train people in the basic skills of hedgerow management including coppicing, hedge-laying and replanting.
Hedgerows are an incredibly valuable wildlife resource, providing food and shelter for many species. As well as being an important habitat in their own right, hedges act as wildlife corridors allowing dispersal between isolated habitats. These linear features are especially important for bats which use them as commuting routes between roosts and feeding areas.
Without management, hedgerows become fragmented and much of the biodiversity can be lost. More people with the necessary skills to manage hedgerows in a traditional way will benefit biodiversity.
Our first course ran in February 2017. Julian Smith patiently demonstrated and guided us through the different stages of laying a hedge as we worked in pairs to lay our own section. We laid in the local Berkeley style which doesn’t use stakes (rumour is a horse in the hunt was injured on a stake, after which everyone on the estate was ordered not to use stakes). At the end of the weekend we all teamed up to tackle a particularly tough overgrown section. All in all we managed to lay 62 metres of hedge over the two days. Julian also talked us through all the different tools used, how to sharpen them and many of us learned for the first time what a saw set is!