Hedges create a wildlife haven
IT’S been a busy winter for the band of volunteers working with the Kentish Stour Countryside Project (KSCP) planting trees and hedges on local farms. They have completed nearly 4km (2.5 miles) of hedge around the villages of Brabourne and Hastingleigh in the last four years and designed to improve landscape quality and provide habitat and corridors for wildlife. Most of the work has been funded by the government’s Countryside Stewardship scheme administered by Natural England based at Wye. This has also supported the cost of creating ponds on local farm land which in many cases the KSCP has implemented on behalf of the local farmer. Work in the Ashford countryside this winter has taken place on Penstock Farm, South Hill Farm, the Godinton the Hinxhill estates. At Hinxhill 20 black poplars were planted by the riverside. The species used to be much more common on wet floodplains but has declined massively over the last hundred years, largely due to drainage schemes. Jon Shelton from KSCP said: “This tree is now a rarity in the countryside but in the past it was harvested as a timber tree and used for wagon bottoms and early railway carriages because it can withstand shock loads well.” Volunteer tasks around Ashford are carried out every Wednesday.
Anyone interested in volunteering or seeking more information about the KSCP should see www.kentishstour.org.uk phone 01233 813307 or email kentish email@example.com
The hedge planting project at Hastingleigh