Hedges cre­ate a wildlife haven

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - COUNTRYFILE -

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 stour@kent.gov.uk

The hedge plant­ing project at Hast­in­gleigh

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