Blooming Marvellous Birch Brook Hedge

Today Charlotte and I were joined by the Blooming Marvellous and Cove Brook Greenway Group Volunteers to lay a hedge on the Birch Brook Reserve on Cove Brook. It was a fantastic help having some of our experienced volunteers along to help teach hedge-laying, which was much appreciated. Blooming Marvellous is a Supported Adult Volunteering Gardening Project, hosted by Hazel and Susie at Rushmoor Voluntary Services. The group have joined us for several years now, so it’s great to catch  up, especially since Charlotte worked with the group last week at Rushmoor Bottom.

The volunteers proudly show off thier hedge

The volunteers proudly show off their hedge

We started by  thinning the right hand side of the entrance and lifting the crowns (trimming the lower branches) of the larger standard trees we were retaining. Next we used hatchets to lay the living stems to form pleachers, which were woven between stakes and topped off with intertwined hazel binders. To see more details of how we lay a hedge, please have a nose at our hedge-laying at Moor Green Lakes on Tuesday.

Suzie pleaching a field maple

Susie pleaching a field maple

Newly Laid hedge

Newly laid hedge

The transformation was quite dramatic, and it was great to create over 20m of laid hedge. The entrance now looks much more inviting to visitors and helps provide a dense living hedge for wildlife. There were several comments from visitors who were pleased to see the traditional hedge-laying skills being kept alive. If you’d like to pop down and have a nose, the Birch Brook Reserve is just north of Blunden Hall (at the end of Blunden Road), with a small car park between Birchett Road and the Brook.

A huge thank you to Paul, Mike, Chris, Hilda, Charlotte and all the Blooming Marvellous Volunteers.

Ranger Stuart

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About blackwatervalleycountryside

The Blackwater Valley is located on the borders of Hampshire, Surrey and Berkshire and runs for approximately 30km from the source near Aldershot, northwards to Swallowfield. At its confluence it joins the rivers Whitewater and Loddon. The Loddon eventually flows into the River Thames near Reading. Work in the Blackwater Valley is co-ordinated by the Blackwater Valley Countryside Partnership on behalf of the local authorities that border the Valley. Despite being surrounded by urban development the Valley provides an important green corridor for local residents As well as the Blackwater Valley Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) and a small part of the Basingstoke Canal SSSI, three nature reserves within the Valley catchment and many other areas have been recognised for their ecological importance. The local planning authorities covering the Valley have designated 31 other areas as ‘Wildlife Sites’.
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