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Archive for the ‘Hedgelaying’ Category

Last Sunday (31st October) was the group’s first day back in action since the start of COVID, and it was great to be out on the Middlewood Way, taking on some hedgelaying with ranger Ed. Unexpectedly, despite torrential rain before and after the event, there was no rain during our work and even a little sunshine! Big thanks to both the familiar faces and the new volunteers who came along. The section of laid hedge has now opened up views from the Way, and we’ll be back on 28th November to continue the same stretch.

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The first activity of our new programme is coming up this Sunday, 31st October! We will be hedgelaying on the Middlewood Way so whether you’re completely new or an old hand, this is the chance to brush off your boots and brush up on your bill-hook skills. Hedgelaying is an ancient craft which helps the environment and is easy to get stuck into; here are examples of our past hedgelaying activities. Please contact us for more information or if you would like to come along on Sunday!

We are in the process of finalising our other dates for the months ahead and will update the Events page as soon as they are confirmed.

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This past weekend was our third and final residential weekend of 2019, again with the Peak Park Conservation Volunteers.  We were back on the shores of Tittesworth Reservoir, and were pleased to see that the lakeside hedge we worked on last October and again in the January snow is well established and providing effective protection of the shore. In a hot and sunny late summer day we did further work on the hedge to keep its rampant growth under control and to extend it further along the water.

Sunday was a greyer, wetter day but nonetheless we made good progress with a new stretch of hedge in a different location, opening up views of the lake while also protecting the shore and enhancing the wildlife habitat.

An excellent weekend all round!

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For our first weekend away of 2019 we were treated to a a beautiful sunny and snowy landscape on the edge of Tittesworth Reservoir!  Working with the Peak Park Conservation Volunteers, on Saturday we were coppicing willow in an area being managed as an important habitat for willow tit.  Then, on Sunday, we returned to the willow hedge that we began in October 2018, and extended it further along the shore.  This barrier, created by a combination of dead hedging and the laying of living willow, is to discourage disturbance by walkers and dogs of an area of the shore important for ground-nesting birds.

Update, May 2019: Back in the area for another weekend, we were pleased to see our hedge thriving and sprouting well!

 

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We have started 2019 with a day with the Friends of Spud Wood.  At this Woodland Trust site, we today helped the Friends with the preparation of a hedge for a forthcoming hedgelaying course, and then some coppicing within the wood.  We were sustained, as always here, by plenty of tea and parkin – a great start to the year!

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The last Sunday of February saw our first hedgelaying of 2018 (after our abandoned plan for hedgelaying at Spud Wood earlier in the month).  We had a very cold but bright day on the Middlewood Way and worked on a good section of hedge with Ed from the Cheshire East Rangers.

We’re back at Spud Wood on Sunday 18th March so might yet get some more hedgelaying this season!

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Hedgelaying in the snow

An appropriately wintry day for our last activity of 2017 today: hedgelaying with the National Trust at Alderley Edge.  Under the leaden skies and the light snowfall, the curious robins kept us company – and we kept warm with the thought of our annual seasonal get-together to follow.  So, plenty of mince pies, jacket potatoes, mulled wine and the rest – thanks to Elaine for the excellent catering and hospitality!

Here’s to 2018!

SACV hedgelaying at Alderley Edge

SACV hedgelaying at Alderley Edge

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Today and a fortnight ago (23rd October) we worked with the Friends of the Bowdon Bollin.  As well as doing some general tidying and maintenance of hedges we have laid previously, we did some work to open up and allow light to other parts of the footpath and to the riverbank.  The original plan had been to work on the installation of two kissing gates but unfortunately this wasn’t possible for logistical reasons – although with luck the kissing gates can be planned for some future Sundays!

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Some more hedgelaying today – this time with the National Trust at Alderley Edge, working on an old hawthorn hedge.  We also planted saplings to fill some of the hedge’s gaps.  It was hard work carrying our tools and the saplings to the work site over some challenging terrain – but the rain stayed off and all in all it was a satisfying day!

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Today SACV members teamed up with the Friends of Chorlton Meadows (FoCM) for some hedgelaying on the aptly named Hawthorn Lane.  The long stretches of hedge alongside the lane have been neglected for many years but FoCM and the wardens have started laying parts this autumn and winter.  Because of the age and thickness of the stems, this was a challenging hedge to work on (but it wasn’t all manual work – we did have a lot of assistance from a chainsaw!).  However, some good progress was made and there was even some root-laying done.  FoCM might manage more work on the hedge in the remainder of the winter and doubtless SACV will perhaps be back to work on it next year too!

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