In January, PAWARA Environment Group planted another hedge in Purbrook. This time it was on the edge of a small wood at Widley Gardens. A mixture of hawthorn, blackthorn, dogwood and hazel was planted in three rows with alternating hazel on the woodland side and alternating dogwood facing the road. Other species will be added when available. The majority of the whips were supplied by OVO Energy through The Conservation Volunteers (TCV) ‘I Dig Trees’ scheme with some hazel saplings from The Woodland Trust. TCV were originally offering guelder rose as a component of the Wildlife & Shrubs packs, but were not satisfied with the quality of plants available.
As for the hedges at Purbrook Gardens, the aim is to create a dense hedge with nesting potential, nectar, fruit and visual amenity. A total of 74 whips were planted at 15” centres with rows 12” apart. This is closer than the whips at Purbrook Gardens which were planted at 18” centres with rows 15” apart, so it will be interesting to compare the results.
The planting area was thoroughly cleared of ivy and brambles and the whips were planted forward of the mature trees to maximise light. Wood chips were supplied by a local tree surgeon. We did not need to use protective tubes because there are no rabbits or deer in the area. There is space for more hedging further along the road and that will be a job for the next planting season.