So what has the Monday Crew been up to:
Garners FieldHedgerow Renovation Winter Project
This winter, as part of the annual maintenance program at Garners Field, the Monday Crew have been renovating the hedgerow alongside the River, some 35 metres in all.
The main aim of the project is to provide a natural barrier for riverside safety and at the same time create a wildlife friendly, traditional hedgerow.
Hedgerows are very important for wildlife in their own right and as they consist predominantly of native trees and shrubs, they are recognised as a priority habitat for conservation action within England’s Biodiversity 2020 targets.
Sixty species of nesting bird and almost all of our native small mammal species, especially the dormouse, have been recorded as being supported by hedgerows. Recent studies have shown that they also reduce pollution and absorb carbon dioxide.
The first stage was to clear the bramble and ivy, no easy task, and then the big dig to remove the tangle of roots and perennial weeds to give the new plants the best chance.
We’ve been very fortunate with the weather which has allowed us to get the planting done during February as this will allow the new trees to get properly established before the summer.
To compliment the existing Hawthorn we’ve planted 9 varieties of shrubs and trees (53 plants in total) to provide seeds, berries and blossom, these include Buckthorn, Hazel, Hornbeam and Wild Crab Apple which will build up the width of the hedge.
We need to protect them from rabbits with spiral tree guards and the ones we’ve sourced are 100% biodegradable.
Once established it will provide the ideal habitat for moths, caterpillars and bugs of all shapes and sizes which we hope will then encourage the birds to make the most of the cornucopia of food and even nest in it.
Perhaps it would make a good subject for the Naturalist Activity Badge, guided tours by arrangement with the warden!
If you would like to help please get in contact: firstname.lastname@example.org