By Laura Tunstall-Murray
The DRST held its annual turf hedging course on a bright day at Marldon on 7th May. We had a good turn out for the course, which was led by Mick Jones.
The day started with us looking at what can be done to prepare the area to make the build easier, such as removing brambles and stinging nettles as the roots make the turfs rather difficult to dig and can affect the integrity of the bank once constructed. The particular bank Mick chose for us to work on (no shortage on Alan’s farm!) had had its hedge layed 18 months beforehand on a DRST course. We began with a comprehensive demonstration and were allotted roughly 4m each. Everyone knuckled down after a brief shower followed by a day of what was mostly glorious sun. The speed at which the bank was finished was very impressive, with many completing their stretch to move onto another patch down the hill (quite a steep hill I might add).
Turf hedging certainly makes for a faster/cheaper alternative to stone facing with the downside being a shorter life span.Looking at the bank at the beginning of the course you’d find it hard to believe that it would end looking so neat and tidy! To top the bank, triangular sections are cut which not only function as a smooth finish to the top but also act as way to remove the sharp edge to the hole you’ve been digging your turfs from. Helping prevent potential silly sheep get stuck in their backs.
The bank also included a bumble bee house courtesy of Mick Godfrey for an unfortunate bee who was disturbed.
All in all, a good day had by all in the May sunshine. Not to mention the addition of some lovely homemade cakes!