Wildlife Conservation Group in the

Forest of Dean








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The stakes are beginning to be inserted through the hedge and the brush is turned to an angle to promote new growth.

26 February 2008

The team watch a member working on removing the unwanted trunk of the pleach. If this was left, water could settle at the base and cause rotting or infection.

The team are checking the tools to be used. The hedge on the left will be worked on to create a laid hedge.


Bracelands,Christchurch - Hedgelaying Course

Grid Ref SO568129


The hedgelaying course took place alongside the Bracelands campsite. Four young deer were spotted on the track leading to the site. We were equipped with our usual loppers and hand saws but we also had bill hooks and pitchforks. The billhooks had to be sharpened with a whetstone before we could start work. The style we were going to do was the 'Stake and Pleach' which has stakes at an angle in the hedge line and is common around the Monmouth area.

Over many years, the laid stems, called pleachers, tend to gradually die back.  However, long before then, a new hedge will have grown up from the base of the existing hedge. Hedgelaying has great conservation and wildlife value and is likely to take place every 15 years or so with periodic trimming inbetween to encourage regrowth and keep it tidy.  Managed in this way, hedges can last indefinitely.

Hedgelaying is seasonal work taking place between autumn and early spring.  It is avoided outside these periods to avoid disturbing nesting birds and trampling plants growing in and by the hedge which could contravene the Wildlife & Countryside Act.



Start of the day

The team at work

Signs of progress!


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