Monday, 7 January 2008

Hedgerow Coppice

This was the area of the farm that was badly hit by the floods in July 2007. This stretch of track and hedge was under 4 feet of water at the deepest part. Check out the blog from that date to see the field from the other end. (And a few stuck cars!) The hedge was badly damaged and actually flattened by the water and rubbish floating downstream in some places. After a talk by FWAG (Farming and Wildlife Advisory Group) we had decided to coppice the hedgerow. This is some very old management techniques and involves cutting off the hedge at ground level. To the untrained eye we'll get told that we have removed the hedge but in a few short years the hedge will re-grow, bushier and stronger than ever. Cutting the stems of the plants encourages tillering, lots of new stems were there was once one. Derek and Gordon are shown here tidying up the last of the stray stems. We will put a post and rail fence along the line of the hedge to keep the sheep in until the hedge is able to take on that task. Whilst the team is in the area we will also pollard the willows, again a useful management technique to maintain the structure of the willow trees.
I also want to wish you all a very Happy New Year and lets keep the positive side of farming in the headlights! Keep a look out for up and coming events..... Lambing Day 29th March! Open Farm Sunday 1st June!

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