The last couple of weeks have been spent working on the Old Willow hedge that runs through the middle of West Hill between the meadow & the forest.
With a tendency to grow 6-7 foot a year, if unmanaged Willow can easily take over. Along the old ditch, the Willows have grown into trees but many have collapsed either on to the ground or have got hung up in conifers. As a consequence the area is completely in accessible & void of other wildlife.
For this reason, I took the decision to coppice the hedge. This change of management will be beneficial for several reasons;
1. Will allow the hedge to be trimmed with a hedge trimmer (its unmanageable in its current state)
2. Will allow more light in, thus allowing other native species to establish i.e. in the Winter, I will plant Hazel, Hawthorn, Spindle & Oak. These new species will then encourage other insect/bird species
3. Will reconnect the forest with the meadow providing views into the meadow
Collapsed Willow trees along forest edge
Volunteer Peter cutting some of trees down
Annabel removing some of the low branches
A slightly clearer view
Work will continue into the autumn, with a view to planting this corridor with planting more species in the winter