Photo gallery – Sandon


Orchids

Early orchids among the bluebells, in April, 2017, near Tichney Wood, Sandon SG9

Photographs: Alex Carlton

How to hammer a hedge
Hedgerow - Blackthorn Hedge - Nigel Jones
Blackthorn. Photo: Nigel Jones/Wildlife Trusts

Hedges? At the forefront of British conservation for decades, rooted in a thousand years of history. A rich resource for all life – you, the birds, bees and beetles – a shelter belt, wildlife home, soil and carbon retainer…Well worth a caring hand.

But throw away knowledge, expertise and sensitivity and you can have this instead… Not an autumn tidy and bulk up, but rather more a punishment we fear…

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A full thrash and trash for a Sandon hedge

What did this hedge do wrong?  What was it like before?

Hedgerows – The Tidy Solution

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Sandon field-edge hedgerow reduction. Drastic chainsawing this autumn lowered the height of this hedgerow by up to two-thirds. The ash (centre) which used to drape almost to the ground was lopped into a lollipop shape. The long “window ledge” – chopped out over many metres and taking the hedge much lower than the prevailing height (far left and right) – has increased wind exposure for the dwellings and wildlife. This historic field boundary, which had been an integral part of the landscape, protecting a semi-natural land area (now partly scrapped clean of vegetation) was also thinned out across its width.

Do we want rural hedgerows to be vulnerable to unplanned manicuring? Like this one above, which, despite being in a landscape conservation area and an integral part of the field system, has been topped and hollowed out? Could we stomach fine hedgerows being dealt the final, tidy, solution of a herbicide “cure-all”?

The answer is probably no.

Do we have something to say about hedgerow alteration that includes the lopping and killing of live standard trees when no access problems exist and where the law, the Hedgerow Regulations 1997, seems to be treated as an inconvenience? Do we mind that countryside hedge maintenance has succumbed to the fancy for an upstairs view?

The answer for most thinking people will be yes, we hope.


Sandon JMI school Eco Day 2016
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Orchids, Blagrove Common, 6/16

Sandon goose – community tributes

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House martin nesting on Sandon house

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