Hedgelaying and Coppicing
Come and learn the art of creating living hedges, coppicing and find out how it benefits the local wildlife.
A countryside craft going back hundreds of years, used initially for making natural fences for livestock.
These living hedges provide food and shelter for local wildlife species such as wrens, small mammals and butterflies whilst also giving a more pleasing look than a barbed wire fence.
Most of our Stour hedges are made up of hawthorn and blackthorn due to their thorny stems - great for stopping livestock from pushing through once a hedge is established. Dotted inbetween these plants you may see rowan, field maple or oak, boosting diversity and enriching the hedge.
Participants will be taught how to use billhooks, bow saws and hatchets - the traditional tools used for hedgelaying - by the rangers.
Find out more
For more information, check out the National Hedgelaying Society
Suitable for 16+
We coppice our trees for several different reasons and it can look quite severe initially.
This involves cutting back the tree stumps to ground level, allowing light to reach the ground which gives flowering plants chance to grow. This is done to trees that grow fast (willow, holly or silver birch) and would otherwise out compete all others, reducing the diversity or causing loss of sensitive habitat by taking over.
A common practice of cutting back the same tree each year and harvesting its new growth for making hurdles and other such crafts. Growth may take several years before it is ready to be cut.
You may have noticed the small boarders in our wildlife garden at the Kingfisher Barn. This was sourced from site and will last a couple of years before needing replacing.
The final reason is for weaving - we have just created a new willow bed in our Throop field that will be a sustainable source for future basket making and other willow-based crafts.
Find out more
For more information on coppicing follow this link.