Updated: Nov 3
We had the best time in Dinas Mawddwy, north Wales last weekend, where we planted over 300 metres of species-rich hedgerow along a patch of over-grazed farm land.
It was tough but thoroughly rewarding, and the scenery was absolutely spectacular - I wish we could be back there right now!
Which species did we plant?
We chose hawthorn, blackthorn, hazel, crab apple, elder, rowan and alder whips (young trees) to encourage a variety of invertebrates, birds and mammals to the area. They will be watered throughout the summer if needed (thanks farmer Dafydd), and were planted between fencing to stop them being eaten by livestock.
Once established, the trees will be ‘laid’, meaning their branches will be bent and partially cut, near ground level, to encourage them to grow horizontally and intertwined. This will encourage vigorous regrowth, and significantly increase the lifespan of the trees, as well as the amount of carbon dioxide they absorb.
Why plant a hedge? As with all trees, our whips will clean the air, reduce noise and mitigate flooding. Hedgerows, however, also provide safe passage for wildlife around the farm by linking patches of woodland. They offer protection for hibernating insects and nesting birds, and are an essential food source for many species of wildlife (who’ll eat its leaves, nectar-rich flowers, berries, fruits, nuts and seeds, or hunt insects and invertebrates living within it).
This makes hedgerows among the most diverse habitats in Britain, meaning we have not only increased biodiversity at the planting site, but will be helping to boost populations of many endangered species (e.g. the hazel dormouse and hedgehog).
Not bad for a weekends' work. Thanks team Green Up Britain! And thank you Volvo.