Paul's hedgelaying

Bucks, Beds & Herts hedgelaying
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March 2020

Bromham Park, 114 yards maiden hawthorn hedge

This hedge ran alongside a fence and made a sound laid hedge using the fence, some live stakes and a few dead stakes where necessary

Start of hedge. We want a decent hedge and a hedgerow tree out of this...
 

...and there you go...
 

...plenty of character in this attractive hawthorn standard
 

Looking from the gate down the line of the hedge...
 

...now looking back to the gate. The green blob is the hawthorn tree I left at the start
 

That's mistletoe growing high up in the hawthorn that we want to keep...
 

...here's the mistletoe retained in the hedge. The diagonal branch on the left of the previous image has been used to key the top of the hedge into the bottom...
 

...another view of the mistletoe section, with Bromham Park and St Owen's Church beyond
 

Looking from the gate towards a pair of field maple...
 

...close up of the field maple...
 

...and looking further along to another field maple
 

A field maple left as a standard also helps keep the hedge in towards the fence...
 

...and this is how it ended up
 



Tring, 40 yard hawthorn, blackthorn, hazel, field maple and crab apple. Laid using live stakes.

I was involved in laying this hedge in 2007 when it was laid South of England style. The first part was done by volunteers and I did the last section which needed a chainsaw - it's the second hedge on this page. This time, with loads of material in the hedge, it was laid using live stakes for the tallest and densest result.

View from start, this hedge had pretty much been allowed to do its own thing since being laid 13 years ago...
 

...same view, 18th February 2020. The tall sycamore trees, laid or coppiced last time, have reached that height in 13 years...
 

...same view, May 2nd 2020...
 

...same view, April 17th 2021. The blackthorn is flowering and you can see the tall new shoots from last year's growth

Looking towards the start. A big sycamore stump has been kept as a live stake...
 

...same view, 2nd May 2020 with me in front...
 

...same view, April 17th 2021
 

Work in progress, 20th March 2020...

...the big live stake is field maple, itself laid previously, now with hazel laid into it...
 

...same view May 2nd 2020, hazel left and crab apple right...
 

...same view 17th April 2021...
 

Those unpromising bits of dead wood at the foot of the two previous images are from when the hedge was laid in 2013. They are now home to cobalt crust fungus, terana caerulea which I'm told is only known at four other locations in Hertfordshire. It can be a much more vivid blue - see https://www.first-nature.com/fungi/terana-caerulea.php

Live stakes retaining a just-laid stool of hazel
 

May 2nd 2020. Field maple top left corner and below a profusion of regrowth from leggy blackthorn stems that had previously struggled to find the light
 

View from end of hedge before laying...
 

... same view April 17th 2021. A fine spindle has been left as a hedge tree. The branch flopping out towards the road was lopped off a few minutes later
 



Seer Green. 125 yards hazel, hawthorn and blackthorn

Two separate sections of old hedge sandwiched between post and wire fences with a paddock one side and footpath the other. There were mature standard trees and several impressive hawthorn. The hedge was difficult to photograph with brush both sides of the fences. Laid using live stakes and some dead stakes where necessary. Excess brush was mostly kept between the two fences to degrade naturally.

The next stool of hazel will fill the gap you can see...
 

...view from the hazel once laid. The gap has been filled
 

Horses and hedges do not mix well but here the fence provides good separation
 

Seer Green has some fabulous sunsets
 

The horses' view of the hedge
 

Closeup showing both live and dead stakes in use
 

With space so tight, excess brush was kept to the left of the hedge and potential firewood to the right to retain access of sorts both sides
 

I stood on top of the hedge for this picture. Also being a yoga teacher helps when space is so limited
 

The fine hawthorn by the hedge now stand out nicely
 

Another picture taken standing atop the hedge!
 

Although mostly hazel, there was enough material for a very solid hedge
 

Note the large hazel stool just right of centre where three live stakes support the hedge. This hedge was previously laid in both directions - often the best way to deal with large gaps between successive stools of hazel. As well as laying the hedge, the aim is to get some low laid stems to root to fill the gaps