We are very proud of the hedgerows on our farm. When we were in the Environmentally Sensitive Areas Scheme, we planted lots of new hedgerows which are now providing much needed corridors across the landscape. With help from The Woodland Trust and The Shropshire Hills AONB Partnership, we hope to plant some more.
About Our Hedgerows
We are delighted to have a piece written about our hedgerows by Fiona Gomersall.
“Over the years Jane and Roger Hulton-Harrop restored and re-instated long lengths of hedgerow throughout their farm. They will have planted hundreds of trees in the process, not only to strengthen the hedgerows but also to extend their woodlands. These hedgerows act as strong ‘linear corridors’, allowing wildlife like insects and birds to move from place to place in safety to find food and mates.
Native species like hazel, holly, hawthorn, maple and blackthorn were planted along with spindle, guelder-rose, dogwood, oak, ash and beech. Some of the hedgerows are very old and have other species like grey and goat willow, elder, black poplar, rowan, wych elm and sycamore growing amongst the more recently planted species. The older hedgerows are also enriched by climbers and shrubby species like black bryony, bramble, honeysuckle, ivy and dog rose. These plants add colour in the form of flowers and fruit so, vital as food sources for our pollinators and birds. Where these species are allowed to flower and fruit as a result of sensitive management, the hedgerows are alive in spring and summer with bird song and the humming of insects. In the autumn activity continues as birds and small mammals feed off fruit, nuts and seeds produced by the diversity of these woody plants.
The well managed hedgerows, wide, dense and tall provide superb nesting habitat for small birds, many of which are in severe decline all over Shropshire.”
Our plans for 2020
Our idea is to link up the existing hedgerows and woodland surrounding the field in the right-hand image. The red lines show where we would like to plant the new hedgerows.
For some of them, we will not need to put an additional fence up on the other side of the hedgerow because there won’t be any stock roaming. We are hoping to do this part of the project with support from The Woodland Trust’s MoreHedges Scheme.
However, where we do need to put up fencing i.e. between fields, we are planning to submit an application to the AONB’s Conservation Fund. This Fund focusses on supporting projects delivering practical conservation work on the ground to conserve and enhance the natural beauty, landscape, wildlife or heritage of the AONB.
Other projects at Pollardine
After receiving a detailed survey of the flora on our farm from The Shropshire Wildlife Trust, we have started managing two of our fields as hay meadows. We will have them surveyed again next spring.
With support from the Woodland Grant Scheme, we are going to plant approximately eight hectares of woodland next spring. This equates to roughly 12,800 trees.
Venue for hire
In 2018 we built a timber building inside one of our old farm sheds. With a spacious meeting area, a kitchen, two toilets, disabled access and a stunning view, it’s the perfect location for a day away from the office.