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Author Topic: Hedge Laying Project - Phase I - 2012-13
Ken Hume
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Posts: 430
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Post Hedge Laying Project - Phase I - 2012-13
on: January 31, 2013, 08:10
Quote

Can you lay 100 metres of hawthorn hedge in the south of the county by 15th March 2013.

The hedge is 200 metres long overall and is made up of tall spindly hawthorn with good clear access from both sides of the hedge.

Image

Contact :-

Ken Hume - Executive Trustee OWG
trustees@oxfordshirewoodlandgroup.co.uk

Ken Hume
Administrator
Posts: 430
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Post Re: Hedge Laying Project
on: February 19, 2013, 08:51
Quote

This work has now been awarded to Rhiannon Fentimen of Chalgrove and Andrew Jarvis of Watlington who have teamed up to undertake this project. Work commenced on site on Monday 18th February 2013 and in due course pictures of work in progress will be posted here.

The hedge laying project is part sponsored by The Chilterns Conservation Board [ http://www.chilternsaonb.org/ ] as part of their ongoing objectives and commitment to support and encourage both landowners and countryside craft practitioners to undertake projects that will enhance and improve the Chiltern's Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. The CCB project officer is Kath Daly.

The Oxfordshire Woodland Group is very appreciative for the CCB support for this initiative.

Ken Hume - Executive Trustee OWG
trustees@oxfordshirewoodlandgroup.co.uk

Ken Hume
Administrator
Posts: 430
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Post Re: Hedge Laying Project
on: February 26, 2013, 16:45
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Work to lay the hedge and create a new stake & binder barrier commenced mid February 2013.

Some parts of the old hedge are a bit sparse and will need to be planted up with new and more diverse hedging plants. Some of the larger "standard" hawthorn type trees have been left in place at regular intervals to help reduce the overall visual impact of the work.

Image

Andrew & Rhiannon enjoying the great Oxfordshire outdoors on a cold grey winters day.

Ken Hume - Executive Trustee OWG
trustees@oxfordshirewoodlandgroup.co.uk

Ken Hume
Administrator
Posts: 430
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Post Re: Hedge Laying Project
on: March 2, 2013, 08:53
Quote

Work is proceeding apace and the birds are now twittering with excitement at the prospect of moving into their new home once shoots begin to appear in spring (it's coming!).

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A six prong approach has been adopted to lay this difficult overgrown hedge.

1) - skinny trees are axed low down and laid along the fence line.

2) - some of the larger "standard" type trees are selected to remain in position to help punctuate the hedge and ensure that some autumnal fruits are still available at a higher level for birds and mammals.

3) - some of the hedge trees that have too large a trunk to be laid are cut off (coppiced) at ground level and in due course these will shoot up in multi stem fashion to help fill gaps created in the hedge line. The felled trunks do not go to waste as some say that Hawthorn is the best firewood much prized by bakers to create a high heat in their ovens.

4) - where a section devoid of hedging trees is encountered then extra hazel is woven into the stakes at lower levels to create a barrier against which new hedging plants can be secured and protected with some dead hedging made from lop & top to help new plants become established and resist browsing pressure.

5) - the variety of trees growing in the hedge will be improved by transplanting young trees already growing in the woodland understory that are shade tolerant i.e. like Holly, Yew, Hazel, etc.

6) - after the hedge has filled out the old barbed wire stock fence behind the hedge will be removed.

Ken Hume - Executive Trustee OWG
trustees@oxfordshirewoodlandgroup.co.uk

Ken Hume
Administrator
Posts: 430
Permalink
Post Re: Hedge Laying Project
on: March 14, 2013, 07:48
Quote

Progress is being made in laying the hedge with about 70 metres now laid

Image

The system used to create the braided and woven top to the fence requires long skinny binders. These can be found growing as vertical offshoots to semi horizontal branches typical of overgrown field boundary stools.

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The binders are double twisted both in between the stakes and about the stakes

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The stakes employed are taken from the lower parts of overgrown Hazel stools

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Some of the larger trees have been cut with a chainsaw and then carefully dropped over.

Image

But where this was not practical then then these large stems have been cut off at ground level where the stump will sprout upwards to infil the hedge.

Image

Ken Hume - Executive Trustee OWG
trustees@oxfordshirewoodlandgroup.co.uk

Ken Hume
Administrator
Posts: 430
Permalink
Post Re: Hedge Laying Project
on: March 16, 2013, 20:31
Quote

With the end of the 100 metre hedge laying project in sight a new problem emerged.

Image

Hedgrow trees that were previously pollarded and have now developed large multi stem branches are a pleasure to lay but result in a much higher hedge run.

Image

The laid hedge has now reached 75 metres in length

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25 metres to go !

Ken Hume - Executive Trustee OWG
trustees@oxfordshirewoodlandgroup.co.uk

Ken Hume
Administrator
Posts: 430
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Post Re: Hedge Laying Project
on: March 28, 2013, 20:20
Quote

The first phase of the woodland hedgelaying project was completed on Thursday 28th March 2012 and a photo was taken a week or so later at the beginning of April when the weather had improved. :-

Image

and here is a picture of the final stretch :-

Image

The hawthorn leaf buds are beginning to break.

Image

Time to put away the billhook and wish the summer away till we can make a start on the second phase of the project at the end of autumn 2013.

I will post pictures of the laid hedge as leaves emerge and shoots begin to appear.

A big thanks is now due to Andrew Jarvis and Rhiannon Fentimen who have worked like Trojans to achieve a very tight work schedule.

Ken Hume - Executive Trustee OWG
trustees@oxfordshirewoodlandgroup.co.uk

Ken Hume
Administrator
Posts: 430
Permalink
Post Re: Hedge Laying Project
on: April 28, 2013, 08:47
Quote

A warm spell at the end of April 2013 has encouraged the hedge to flush out

Image

although some sections where regrowth is still a bit slow or sparse are now becoming more obvious.

Image

These sections will probably need to be underplanted in due course but the hedge will be given several months before decisons in this respect are made. Any underplanting would be done during the autumn 2013 tree planting season when soil moisture competion from the adjacent larch trees will be less and hence will afford any new hedge plant root systems a chance to settle in and become established over winter 2013/14.

Ken Hume - Executive Trustee OWG
trustees@oxfordshirewoodlandgroup.co.uk

Ken Hume
Administrator
Posts: 430
Permalink
Post Re: Hedge Laying Project
on: May 6, 2013, 19:26
Quote

Spring (2013) has now sprung and the woodland is beginning to become shaded out at ground level from the high canopy above and by the Phase II hawthorn hedge which we plan to lay over winter / spring 2013/14.

Image

Ken Hume - Executive Trustee OWG
trustees@oxfordshirewoodlandgroup.co.uk

Ken Hume
Administrator
Posts: 430
Permalink
Post Re: Hedge Laying Project
on: June 14, 2013, 09:10
Quote

By mid June 2013 the woodland canopy has now well and truly closed. Regrowth of the hawthorn hedge does not appear to be dramatically different when compared with the last progress photos taken in early May 2013.

Image

However closer inspection reveals that nature is at work with dormant buds having developed adventicious regrowth.

Image

and even on previously bare hardwood stems sprouts are appearing.

Image

It remains to be seen how the hedge will now stand up to deer browsing and 3 roe deer were spotted within 20 yards of the hedge when progress photos were being taken.

Ken Hume
Executive Trustee - Oxfordshire Woodland Group

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