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Hedge Clipping 11

Southern Water Biodiversity Grant funded - Hedging Our Future Project

The Hedging Our Future Project comes to an end in Sidlesham this month as the funding was for a year.  We have achieved a huge amount planting trees one day a week between November and March with over 2500 trees creating more than 800 metres of new hedge and a small woodland copse. 

The weather wasn't always kind and we had a core group of very devoted hardy volunteers who came out come rain or heavy wind.  You notice sunshine wasn't mentioned!  We had some impromptu wild swimming and a volunteer who cycled from Selsey each week whatever the weather was throwing at us - huge thanks to these brave souls.  it will be really interesting to see how these hedges develop over the coming years and take up space in the landscape.

We have been very fortunate to have received another 1-year grant from Southern Water to plant another parish up with hedges next winter so we will be continuing this valuable work.  We are in discussion with communities and farmers to decide which parish that might be.  So do not put your spade away, we will need your help!

This month look out for the signs that spring is on its way in the hedge with the white flowers of the blackthorn creating a gorgeous spectacle.  A good place to see this is in Hunston near the roundabout turning to Pagham.  Hawthorn start to unfurl lovely fresh bright green leaves and insects should start to emerge and buzz around looking for food. 

This will swiftly be followed by noisy wrens, blue and great tits who hop around the branches of the trees seeking out caterpillars, aphids and other sources of proteinHedgerow and farmland birds will be searching for nesting sites in the dense tangle of the trees where they hope to be safe from the prying eyes of magpies.  The cycle of life starts with the warmer air temperatures and lengthening days and it is all going on in the hedge.


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