Whilst most people have had some time off over Christmas - nesting indoors and sheltered out of the wind and rain - it seems that hedge-layers are out in all types of weather!
One of Wakehurst’s workers, Steven Robinson, was busy rejuvenating the hedgerow along one of the boundaries of our new Coronation Meadow with the support of Phil Hart and his colleague Mark, from the South of England Hedge-laying Society.
All three are proficient hedge-layers using traditional tools and Sussex methods.
They cut the individual stems within the hedge, at the base and lay them horizontally without completely severing them. (Each stem laid in this way is known as a pleacher).
They then hold them in place with hazel stakes coppiced from our estate woodlands, bound together using the traditional Sussex weave and cut diagonally at the top.
Whilst also looking great, the re-laying encourages the old hedge to put on new growth and will provide protection and habitat to wildlife as well as being a livestock-proof barrier.
Once complete, the next stage of our Coronation Meadow will be the planting of new hedges to re-instate the original field boundaries.
The Coronation Meadow, created in response to HRH The Prince of Wales’ call for the creation of new wild flower meadows to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the Coronation, is set to open to the public on July 2.
Report and pictures contributed by Wakehurst Place, Ardingly.