The field maple hedge to be laid

RGCG plans to lay the field maple hedge on the weekend of January 19 & 20 2019.

We are most grateful to Redland and Cotham Amenities Society who are providing funding for this work.

We are also grateful to Jerry Cole, North Area Grounds Supervisor in the Parks and Estates Department of Bristol City Council, who has approved this work and who is supporting RGCG with safety fencing and personal protective equipment for participants.

The field maple hedge is much older than the the Green's other hedge, a mixed species hedge planted in the winter of 2011-12. The field maple hedge has been maintained by Bristol City Council, who cut back the trunks and the branches every few years. This treatment has resulted - as, sadly, is the case with most hedgerows in the countryside - in a hedge which lacks density at its base and which has many gaps, some of which can be seen in the picture below. The trunks are thick, but the network of branches which regenerate after cutting are thin and spindly. The hedge offers little value to wildlife. Laying the hedge will change all of this.

The hedge will be laid in the North Somerset style under the tuition of Malcolm Dowling, who started hedgelaying at the age of 60 and is now a prize-winning 79 year old hedge-layer.

This photograph was taken in November 2017 when Malcolm was laying one of the Metford Road Community Orchard's two hedgerows.

Malcolm, who trades under the name "Grandad", also builds dry stone walls - another ancient countryside skill.