Hedgelayers at work on Paddington Meadows

DOG walkers and hikers were amazed at the sound of bill hooks, bow saws and axes when they witnessed some 14 volunteers from the New Cut Heritage and Ecology group as they began the task of laying a stretch of overgrown hedge at the far end of Paddington Meadows one Saturday in February.

Working in liaison with Warrington Borough Council officers and supervised by an experienced hedge laying instructor from the HLF funded Carbon Landscapes organisation, the day was intended as a training workshop but the volunteers picked up the skills so quickly that over 40 yards of hedge had been completely laid and a further 30 yards was well prepared for the next work party.

Instructed firstly in safety matters and then on the various techniques involved the team quickly began the task of making the overgrown hedge into a useful habitat for small birds and mammals as well established hedgerows to offer these creatures safe environments away from predators such as kestrels.

The New Cut team know that they face an incredibly large task with so many of these ancient hedges being neglected for many years but are enthusiastic and determined to improve the habitat for wildlife.

Anne Price, press officer, said “Every one thoroughly enjoyed the day and even though it was hard physical work.  Organised into teams of three and four we achieved far more than was expected. The creation of this better habitat will certainly benefit wildlife on the meadows and our next step is to begin fundraising to purchase our own tools and equipment. The bird nesting season will now bring a necessary halt to this work but in late summer and autumn we can begin again”

If you are interested in joining the group, enjoying the fresh air and can cope with the tough physical nature of hedge laying then why not contact info@newcuttrail.com and join the group in the autumn.