Barford environment group plant hedgerow for community and wildlife

The group received a grant from Warwickshire County Council’s Green Shoots Fund towards the costs of planting the hedgerows

Members of the group planting hedgerow in Barford. Photos supplied

An environment group in Barford have planted a hedgerow for the community and the wildlife.

The area where the Bar Zero Environmental Group planted is on a narrow strip of land at Oldham’s Bank between the A429 and the river Avon where there is a community orchard frequented by dog walkers and families.

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The group applied to Warwickshire County Council’s Green Shoots Fund and were awarded a grant towards the cost of planting.

J and A Growers at Wasperton offered to supply the hedging ‘whips’ (young plants) free of charge.

The group then approached the Highways Agency for permission to plant the hedge on their land alongside the road, and the Joint Parish Council, who were supportive of the idea, offered to take on ongoing maintenance of the hedge.

The small hedging plants would be vulnerable to the munching of rabbits and muntjac and other small mammals, so the group researched 100 per cent biodegradable tree spirals for protection.

These offer protection for about three years and give the plants time to establish, after which they can be removed and composted.

The group then enlisted the help of Michael Mann from Frank Mann Farmers who, after some clearance and preparation work, planted the hedge in November.

The hedge comprises native species of hawthorn, field maple, crabapple, blackthorn and dogwood.

According to the group, hedgerows improve the soil and make it healthier, and healthy soils permanently lock away carbon.

Liz Harrison-Hall, who is part of the group, said “We hope that the hedge will improve biodiversity and wildlife habitat, lead to an increase in pollinators and support a variety of insects, birds and small mammals.

"It will also protect dog walkers, picnickers and young families from noise and fumes, and improve the air quality for residents."

Barford’s Bar Zero group also run a monthly Repair Café in the village, as well as offering recycling of small items not collected by the council.