Hedge-laying and Coppicing
There are about 450,000 km of hedges in the UK sounds a lot but over the last 50 years the amount of hedges have been depleted by 121,000 km.
Hedges are incredibly important to wildlife as they are valuable food larders and commuter routes for small mammals such as dormice and hedgehogs. Woodland and farmland birds such as blue tit, great tit and yellow hammer can be found along them as well as insects and butterflies.
Hedges can be improved and regenerated by coppicing and hedge laying to encourage good strong growth from the bottom.
Here at Brightwater we have planted about 700 metres of hedge in the past 5 years and now they are old enough to be laid to improve them and encourage them to grow from the bottom. Over the past week we have removed the protective plastic rabbit guards from the car park hedge and cut the stems low down on the plants and laid them at approx 45 degrees finally pegging them with wooden stakes.
The hedge will ( hopefully) now grow into a strong habitat rich hedge. We on the other hand will spend the next few weeks extracting thorns from sore hands !!