With the rain pelting down in sheets on Saturday, we were expecting the Rustics meeting to be something of a damp squib…how wrong we were!
By 10am we had a group of a dozen hardy volunteers, not perturbed by the rain and fully dedicated to the job in hand – hedge laying.
Hedgelaying is the only hedgerow maintenance method currently available which promotes regrowth from ground level and which will ensure the health and longevity of the hedgerow, unlike flailing/mechanical cutting will can irreversibly damage individual plants. It is hugely important as it promotes a much thicker regrowth and therefore provides greater habitat for nesting birds and small mammals. This denser regrowth also protects smaller birds and mammals from larger predators, who are unable to penetrate the thicker hedge, as well as providing a greater yield of berries creating an increased food source. The National Hedgelaying Society states that “hedges are important for our wildlife, environmental, heritage and scenic value. A well managed hedgerow is thick and bushy, an impenetrable barrier to sheep and cattle and a haven for wildlife”.
Joined by two very welcome new recruits, the Rustics spent the day braving the rain and doing a sterling job tackling the 17 year old hedges on 98 Land. They even managed to somehow get a bonfire going to burn any lateral growth and warm them up slightly!
The team powered on until after 1pm, when the hedge laying was finished off and numerous bundles of Osiers were cut and prepared for sale. Volunteers were then treated to hot buttery jacket potatoes and a much needed warm drink, kindly provided by Rachael Page.
We would like to thank the Rustics for their dedication on what was a very cold, wet day and extend our appreciation for their hard work. We very much appreciate all of the work carried out by them and would not be where we are without them!