DESPITE the winter excesses of Mother Nature, egged on by her formidable Aunty Doris, SUMBA’s (Shropshire Union Middlewich Branch Adopters) hedge-laying team succeeded in laying their second section of hedge just above Cholmondeston Lock.
As with the hedge laying last year below Cholmondeston Lock opposite Venetian Marina, this is part of the Canal & River Trust’s national Helping Hedgerows project. Work was especially tough as conditions in the field behind the hedge consisted of boot sucking and ankle breaking mud, mushed underfoot with horse and sheep droppings.
Nevertheless SUMBA’s determined ‘tree huggers’ managed to lay in excess of 100m between October and early March.
When brash disposal by bonfire became impossible due to the soggy conditions, the team decided to create a back hedge with the waste wood. Not only does this strengthen the new growth, but it also provides a dense habitat for bugs, small birds and a safe highway for hedgerow mammals. It has also thwarted the local sheep escape committee in their frequent attempts at making a run for freedom.
In the final session in March over a 100 whips were planted. These will in time thicken the hedge and support regrowth along the front face of the hedge.
Many thanks to all the SUMBA team for their dedication and support for the project, also CRT’s Roger Birch, Brian Pimlott and Steve Minton who provided chainsaw support.