Sustainable ‘dead’ hedge skills given a new lease of life in Kent
Our volunteers have been keeping some traditional hedge-laying skills alive in Medway.
Eleven of our staff who normally work on a wide range of energy infrastructure projects at UK Power Networks Services exchanged their usual hard hats, mobile phones and keyboards for loppers and saws for a day reviving the heritage skill of dead hedge-laying at Riverside Country Park, Rainham.
Despite the name, ‘dead’ hedges are full of life and a sustainable way of recycling branches from woodland maintenance to provide food, shelter and breeding grounds for insects, birds, hedgehogs and small mammals.
The hard-working volunteers made stakes to support the hedge, and weaved foliage between these posts, driving forward a new wildlife project with Medway Council’s countryside rangers from Medway Norse. They gave their time through Donate a Day, which gives staff two paid days each year to volunteer in their local communities.
Emma Kemp, who led the event at UK Power Networks Services, said: “It was a lovely project to build a hedgerow for wildlife. The rangers were really pleased to have so many helping hands and seemed impressed with how much the team achieved in a day.
“The foliage will die off, leaving a natural fence line for wildlife. It was an energising day, everyone worked hard, and we enjoyed spending time together in the countryside supporting a local wildlife project. The ranger team was delighted with the finished result and we hope our efforts will provide food and shelter for local wildlife.
“Being amongst nature is always a brilliant boost for mental health and wellbeing and I think it’s fabulous that through our Donate a Day programme we are encouraged to support our local communities.”
Cllr Simon Curry, Medway Council's Portfolio Holder covering Greenspaces, said:
Katie Pattison, a senior ranger at Medway Norse, said:
Covering 100 hectares by the Medway Estuary, Riverside Country Park has rich wildlife habitats including mudflats and salt marsh, ponds and reed-beds, grassland and scrub.