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Traditional Boundaries of Wales

In Monday's blog, 'Celebrating the Wonderful World of Hedges' Rachel introduced some of the reasons why Hedges are so brilliant. This is one of the reasons why Stump Up For Trees is so happy to be in partnership with the Bannau Brycheiniog National Park Authority as part of the 'Traditional Boundaries of Wales' project.

In the 2022/23 season the BBNPA opened for applications a funded project to support farmers in the park in creating new and restoring old hedgerow boundaries. 

Over two seasons, we have planted more than 40,000 trees in over 8km of new and restored hedgerows with 28 farmers.

These future habitat highways are a biodiverse species mix including Alder, Blackthorn, Hawthorn, Hazel, Crab Apple, Dog Rose, Downy Birch, Beech, Hornbeam, Field Maple, Rowan, Sessile Oak, Spindle and Wild Cherry (with the occasional Small Leafed Lime or Wild Service for good measure). The precise mix and number of species depended on the location of the farm, farming needs and long-term management plans. If we knew someone was planning to lay a hedge or was a traditional sheep farm and the hedge would play a key role in sheltering young livestock, we might, for example, reduce the percentage of Blackthorn. Blackthorn is great, however, for heftier livestock like cattle, as well as providing us with Sloe's in a wonderful fruiting hedgerow - good for birds and gin!

Many of these trees were sourced and provided by the Woodland Trust and Stump Up For Trees have grown them on at our Bettws nursery. This enables us to provide larger stock, and the Trust also supported us in sourcing local provenance species. This is a great step in ensuring that the hedgerows are complementing the local ecology, and the diverse mix will support both biodiversity and climate resilience.

The lead BBNPA officer on the project is Sam Harpur, who has worked tirelessly in identifying sites with farmers, monitoring and even hand delivering many of the trees. His endless enthusiasm for the project has helped develop great relationships with the farmers he works with and reflects in the wider farming community. 

Sam also bought teams of BBNPA wardens and volunteers to join us at the nursery where Jenny Parry and Rachel Embury have led our unbelievably resilient volunteers in the mammoth task of lifting and packing all the trees, ready for each farm. Given the absolutely atrocious conditions this winter, and the fact that everything had to be hand prepared, their achievement is even more fantastic. It has been noted that whilst we don't provide certificates for bog wallowing, we probably should...

There is one more year to go of this project. The first two years were oversubscribed and the initial applicants will get first priority. However, please do get in touch if you are planning or would like to create or restore a hedgerow. Even if there isn't space in the scheme there may still be ways we can help.

Further info: 

The Bannau Brychieniog Hedgerows page

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