Since Autumn we have been hedging in earnest. And we are not talking a bit of clipping here, but small tree felling. The hedges had been let go for some years before we came here, and we are slowly working our way around, cutting out the overgrown trees, laying the smaller stuff, and trying to get the hedge back.
It’s quite encouraging, to see the work we did a few years ago, how much growth has appeared, although it looks like it needs redoing – and we haven’t had a first swipe at the rest of the hedges yet.
We have 2 acres here, but it is arranged long and thin, apparently because it was medieval strip fields, so there are a lot of hedges. And we only have hand tools.
And the mild winter means the window of opportunity is shorter than ever, and it is pretty short here in the westcountry anyway. The elder is sprouting, honeysuckle is in leaf, and we have spotted birds flying about with nest material in their beaks. So, that’s it. Time up.
Good job too, as the orchard and the top of the big field are strewn with branches and trees. Time to start the clearing up, bean pole and pea stick harvesting, and the log pile grows.
They say it is better for wildlife, to only do a small proportion of the hedges at time, and this year we did more than ever, but probably only 25% of the lot. Still, just think, we might be bored otherwise!