18 January 2009

National Trust - Hedge Laying at Threave

Last January I went with the National Trust Conservation Volunteers to the estate at Threave in Dumfries and Galloway to do some hedge laying - see  this post for that story and a little more about hedge laying!

This weekend we headed off to Threave again to do create another new hedgerow. It was a cold and blustery weekend but we managed to avoid the rain whilst working!! I did have to stop over lunchtime and go for a long walk to get the circulation moving to my toes again! 

We were working on a row of hawthorn and blackthorn trees that were planted about 15 years ago and hadn't been touched since then. We worked in pairs on 10 to 15 metre sections, carefully chopping into the trunk to allow it to slowly lay over at a 45 degree angle, weaving in the branches in to create a low lying, prickly barrier to prevent animals getting through, establishing a living wildlife corridor and maintaining traditional countryside management methods.  Lots of sawing and axe swinging and lots of good fun!

Here are some photos of the hedge, before laying, the section I was working on after it was laid and a little tool maintenance - cleaning and sharpening the bill hooks, axes and saws on a daily basis keeps them sharp!

The weather was wild on Saturday evening - 80 mile per hour winds and driving rain, luckily it had stopped in time for us to get back to work on Sunday morning....but it had made the mud of the previous day even muddier!! Just as well I like mud!


Heidi said...

You do the coolest things!

Bethany Hissong said...

This is beautiful! It reminds me of Longwood Gardens here!! But oh my... the mud!! You have a heart of gold!