Bookings are coming in thick and fast since our publicity guru, Chris Baker appeared on BBC Radio Devon last friday. The dry stone walling course is completely booked up with three on the reserves list and the hedge laying courses are selling like hot cakes so book now if you want one: https://www.drst.org.uk/pg/Diary.aspx
There are still plenty of spaces on the turf hedging course. This is an essential skill for hedgelayers, enabling them to repair small sections of hedge bank simply using a mattock and a shovel. You can book a place on that course here: https://www.drst.org.uk/pg/course/coursedet.aspx?id=111
One rural skill that is not taught by DRST is the art of mowing with the scythe. Jeremy Weiss has been running courses on this all through the summer and on thursday 23rd of September he’s running a scythe workshop for improvers. You can find details here: https://properedges.com/courses/
As part of their year-long Close the Gap programme, The Tree Council’s Community Hedge Fund is now open for applications. They will be awarding grants of up to £2,500 for volunteer Tree Wardens and community groups to plant new hedgerows, hedgerow trees and to gap up existing hedgerows in rural and urban areas across England this winter.
Subject to the Government further lifting Covid restrictions on 21 Jun, DRST intend to re-start operations. We will hold a face to face Committee meeting on the 23rd of June to discuss operating protocols and future events with the aim to commence Saturday courses in July. We are looking forward to getting back to normal operations and hope to see you all soon.
The inaugural National Hedgerow Week launches on 29th May 2021 to highlight the immense contribution these unsung heroes of the natural world make in the fight against climate change and biodiversity loss and to raise awareness of the threats they face. The celebration of these wonderful habitats is part of a year-long Close the Gap project funded by the government’s Green Recovery Challenge Fund and delivered by The National Lottery Heritage Fund in partnership with Natural England and the Environment Agency.
From absorbing carbon to improving urban air quality, offering a home to small birds and mammals, marking out boundaries to preventing flooding and more, hedgerows are invaluable to this country. The Committee on Climate Change has advised the UK needs to plant an extra 200,000km (over 120,000 miles) of hedgerow if we are to meet our climate commitments. Hedgerows are also a key habitat for endangered native species including the dormouse and barbastelle bat and their vibrant greenery make them a huge boost to our mental health.
National Hedgerow Week will put the spotlight firmly on the hawthorns, blackthorns, wild roses and brambles which make up hedgerows across the UK. Throughout the week there will be a range of exciting hedge-inspired activities with volunteers and the public and the UK’s first All Natural Hedgefunds will be launched. The Farming Hedgefund will distribute £500,000 in grants to landowners in England to help them fill hedgerow gaps and plant 30 miles of new hedges next planting season. A smaller Community Hedgefund is available for volunteer Tree Wardens and local groups to plant new community hedges.
Other activities will include:
HedgeTalks- a webinar series helping the public get the most out of their hedges
A playful ‘Talk To The Hedge’ photo competition
#talktothehedge – a social media campaign to share your love of hedges
Sara Lom Tree Council CEO adds ‘Our hedges are not only of huge significance for the environment but also for their contribution to our cultural heritage and landscapes. We think it’s high time they got their turn in the limelight with this first hedgerow week. We’re hoping to unite farmers, landowners, gardeners and the general public in celebrating this humble yet brilliant habitat.’
Cottage (two bedroom, countryside location, recently repainted) near Tiverton available for one year, in exchange for ten hours a week of dry stone walling. If interested, please contact Ed Amory (email@example.com) .
Moor Meadows has just produced five informative hedge videos!
Hedges abound in Devon and are an important habitat for wildlife supporting woodland birds, many mammals and butterflies. Our presenter is hedge expertTom Hynes from the Devon Hedge Group, whose aim is to further appreciation and understanding of Devon’s hedges, and to provide guidance on their management and conservation. The practical videos are short and concise ‘how-to’ guides – each under 4 minutes long. Whilst it is too late to work on hedges due to the bird breeding season starting, we hope they will inspire you to make a hedge plan for next winter. We plan to bring you more videos over the summer: the best tools for the job, how to create a hedge plan to create more biodiversity and one on Life in the Hedge. There will also be a talk on hedges this autumn. We hope you enjoy these beautifully made films – please feel free to share them with anyone you think may find them of interest. 1 Devon hedges – Did you know that many Devon hedges date back to medieval times? 2 Laying a hedge – A step-by-step guide to laying a hedge. Practical tips to help you get it just right. 3 Curing a gap– Hedges often develop gaps. Hedge-laying expert Tom Hynes demonstrates how you can make your hedge thick & stock-proof once more 4 Crooking & trimming– Once you’ve laid your hedge, it’s time to crook and trim it 5 One year on – Tom Hynes visits a section of hedge that he laid last season to see how it has grown
We are now able to share the topics for the Plant Health online sessions that will be running through February. Each session will start at 12pm and last at most 1h30m.
Each session will feature talks given by experts in the field, followed by a Q&A
Wednesday 3rd: Human impacts of Plant Health with a reminder of how we can be the vector of transmission, what are doing to help prevent this including checking of imported material; and also when plant health impacts on human health (Oak Processionary Moth)
Wednesday 10th: Ash Dieback. Hear about the course of the disease in Denmark who were about 10 years ahead of us in handling the disease, suggestions for how to manage woodland after the loss of Ash, and a reminder of the implications for grants and licenses
Wednesday 17th: Looming threats: an introduction or update on Swiss Needle Cast, Sweet Chestnut Blight and the old foe Phytophthora Ramorum
Wednesday 24th: Beetles. Hear about Ips which is currently devastating spruce in Europe and a reminder about Dendroctinus and Rhizophagus which are already present in the SW
You can attend any session as a standalone, book for all four sessions, or as many as you are able to attend.
They will be FREE to attend but you will need to register here: