Friday, 11 January 2013

Hedge Laying in Upper Derwent Valley

We have just finished our hedgelaying for 2012. This year we’ve been laying the hedges at Ashes Farm and Old House Farm in the Upper Derwent Valley totalling 200 metres.

It has been great to finish the hedges at Old House as I can remember fencing and planting back in 1999 and I get a lot of satisfaction from seeing the job through to laying.

I was finishing the last few metres just before Christmas on a busy Sunday and it was fantastic just how many people stopped to ask questions despite me wielding a very sharp billhook and looking quite scary. It was a great opportunity for me to chat about not only hedgelaying but the diverse range of work we rangers get involved in and all of the work of the National Trust in the Upper Derwent Valley.

This year our working holiday group spent their weekend learning the craft of hedgelaying and it was wonderful to see a diverse range of people, young and old, enjoying learning a new skill and getting a sense of achievement. We started the first planting of hedgerows in the Upper Derwent Valley about 20 years ago and the first hedgelaying began in 2003. Over 2 kilometres of hedgerows have been planted and 1.5 kilometres of hedges have been laid so far.

Our hedgerows are invaluable habitat for our wildlife and the continued management is vital for nesting birds and small mammals to thrive. Every October it is time to sharpen up my billhook and start on the next hedge. So look out for us and have a chat if you’re out and about in the Upper Derwent Valley during autumn.

Andy Houldsworth

1 comment:

  1. Johnny Coombes, pictured, is normally a volunteer dry stone waller, but it was hard to get him to let go of his billhook on this day!