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Hedge Clipping 13

Southern Water Biodiversity Grant funded - Hedging Our Future Project

I had a great day at the Records Centre last week looking at information for the parishes of Hunston and North Mundham and was able to photograph some relevant maps with hedge information.

The West Sussex Records Office is a great source of data on the presence of historical and now missing hedgerows. I have used the 1846 parish tithe maps of the area in the past to identify ponds and these can show field boundaries. However, the presence of hedgerows is not always clear and so to look through old hand painted estate sale maps that sometimes go as far back as the 1600s can be very useful as these can have hedgerows and tree copses drawn on.

I also had a meeting in North Mundham with the parish environment group to start engagement and to recruit an army of volunteers for the next round of planting this coming winter. After a presentation we looked at maps of the parish as I would like the community to identify missing hedgerows in their landscape.

As part of the Fixing and Linking Our Wetlands (FLOW) project we carried out hedge surveys in many of the parishes. This involved gathering data on hedge physical attributes (length, width, height), their make up (species of trees and climbers), and their condition (thick, thin, gappy, over managed, monoculture, bramble ingress). This information was mapped and gave us an idea of which hedges could be improved, where large gaps existed and where there were great hedges rich in biodiversity. Unfortunately, we didn’t carry out any hedge surveys in the Mundham parish due in part to the pandemic and running out of time at the end of the project. Therefore, this seems like a great opportunity to carry out those surveys to help inform us about where we plant hedges this winter. The Mundham community seem keen to carry out some surveying so we hope to fill the knowledge gaps about hedges in this parish over the summer.

Over the summer we will also be looking after our baby trees in the tree nurseries and making sure we have healthy stock to plant out in the winter months.

Don't put your spades away as we are going to need your help with planting in winter 2024! This is a really satisfying activity and we live by the motto that there is no such thing as bad weather - just the wrong clothing!! One tree in the ground will make a difference so any time you can give is really helpful.

There is always lots of cake available and we have fun!


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