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Review of the December Hedgerow Management Course

Nigel laying the hedge
On Saturday 6th December, a Hedgerow Management Workshop was held in Nore Barn Woods. Led by Jon Stokes of the Tree Council and using the services of Nigel Adams, master hedge-layer, the day consisted of tuition and hands-on practical sessions to rejuvenate a hedgerow in the final stages of decline.

The twenty-five participants included representatives from Tree Wardens in Havant Borough, West Sussex & Portsmouth, Brook Meadow Conservation Group, Friends of Nore Barn Woods and The Conservation Volunteers.

At the morning teaching session held at Brookfield Hotel, Jon Stokes gave a brief history of the hedgerow and Nigel Adams described 'How to read a hedgerow' and the various management options. The participants then walked to Nore Barn Woods and in small groups made an assessment of the hedgerow on the northern boundary of Nore Barn Woods.

After a very enjoyable al fresco lunch, the various management options, including laying and coppicing, were discussed and work was started. Nigel demonstrated hedgerow laying techniques with several course participants having a go. At the end of the day, a ten-year old section was laid in the south of England style and an older section in poor condition was coppiced.

As one workshop participant remarked, “I found it utterly gripping, and am so grateful for the opportunity to learn so much, in the easiest possible way, about a topic which is of such importance for the future of our English countryside”.

To further improve the hedgerow along this section of the Wayfarers Walk, more elderly Hawthorns will be coppiced and in-filled with saplings such as Wild Plum. The large Hawthorn trees in the hedgerow will be kept.

The workshop was Lottery funded as part of the Tree Council’s 'Hedgerow Harvest History' project, with the aim of introducing edible fruits into our hedgerows.

For further details or to join in this exciting project visit:  www.norebarnwoods.org.uk

Roy Ewing

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