Early orchids among the bluebells, in April, 2017, near Tichney Wood, Sandon SG9
Photographs: Alex Carlton
How to hammer a hedge
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…
What did this hedge do wrong? What was it like before?
Hedgerows – The Tidy Solution
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
Orchids, Blagrove Common, 6/16
Sandon goose – community tributes