Ancient Woodland Boundary
Hedge with Hornbeam and Crab Apples

Hedges perform two important roles on the Green. For us humans they define the boundaries of the Green but for birds and small mammals they link the various habitats of the Green together - a sort of network of "motorways".

The habitat itself is of considerable value to these small creatures around the edges of, the otherwise open, areas of the site.

The southern boundary hedge appears to be of considerable age and may well derive from ancient woodland. It contains some old hornbeam stools and a very old oak as well as plant species indicative of ancient woodlands, such as bluebells.

Unfortunately, in many areas of the southern boundary large gaps have appeared that, over the years, have been infilled with a multi-strand barbed wire fence. As part of our management plan we have started a rolling program to reestablish a boundary hedge. This will involve some replanting, pollarding and thinning out of trees.

The work will be carried out in a number of phases over the winter period when the trees are dormant. Initially the undergrowth has been cut back in one half of the area to expose the surviving hedge-line. A post and strained wire fence has been erected in this area and the first 800 hedging saplings planted. For the first few years the undergrowth in this area will be cut back to allow the saplings to become established. A programme of selective pruning and pollarding will also commence to ensure that the new hedge blends into the remnants of the old.

Plans are now being drawn up to renovate the second half of the hedge in a similar way. The timing of this phase will depend on suitable funding being available

During this period some parts of the area will appear rather "thin" as the new plantings seek to become established however, the long term benefits will be a sympathetic habitat of benefit to both wildlife and education.

The picture on the left shows the first phase post and strained wire fence just prior to planting the saplings.