We’ve been busy this week continuing to manage the woodland edge around our project. We have been coppicing and pruning and then using the wood from that work to make DEAD HEDGES. The idea is to remove the non native species such as Portuguese laurel from the woodland. It has little bio diversity value and is very aggressive in it’s growing habit. It basically bullies it’s way through the woodland and cuts out a lot of the sunlight from reaching the woodland floor. The result is not a lot of native woodland wild flowers can grow on the woodland floor in the cold shade. So we prune away letting the sunlight in and giving the wonderful native trees a chance to spread their boughs. Trees such as Oak, Alder, Birch and Willow . What do we do with all the wood we pruned out of the woods? Burn it? No!!!!!! This wood is a resource and in keeping with our guiding permaculture principle we have been making beautiful dead hedges.

What’s a dead hedge!????
Not all hedges have to be living.

‘Dead hedging’ is basically cut branches, stems and coppiced material that is laid horizontally to form a barrier.

Dead hedging has lots of benefits:

– it provides a great habitat for wildlife, and will be home to a wide range of invertebrates, amphibians and small mammals, as well as a perching spot for small birds.;

– dead hedging enables the ‘reuse’ of natural garden materials and waste, preventing the need to transport garden waste to the local municipal tip. Furthermore, material in the dead hedge will slowly rot down, meaning that garden waste can continue to be added to it;

– it’s cheap. In fact other than the time spent to construct, dead hedging doesn’t cost anything at all, and is therefore cheaper than any form of hedge, wall, or fence;

– dead hedging creates a very effective and impenetrable barrier to ensure additional security, especially if plant species with thorns – such as hawthorn, blackthorn and rose – are used; and

– in our view, dead hedging looks great, and can be quite colourful dependent upon the plant species used. We’ll be weaving some colourful red dog wood into our hedges throughout the winter. dead hedge 1 (1)dead hedge 2

Stay tuned to find out more about our plans to bring the wild flowers back to the woodland.

Thanks, Mick

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