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May 2nd, 2024

Hedgerow Update - how are things growing...

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In March, a determined group of ARRT volunteers battled the elements, and the mud, to plant 750m of native hedgerow, at Empshott Liss.

A variety of native hedgerow species were planted, such as Blackthorn, Hawthorn, Spindle, Field maple, Hazel, Dog Rose Guelder Rose, Dogwood, Cherry and Crab Apple, together with 75 Oak and 19 Sussex Black Poplar trees.

The trees and hedgerow are part of a Natural Flood Management (NFM) project to try and reduce the impact of sudden and heavy rainfall by slowing the flow of water and intercepting sediment and nutrients flowing into our streams.

Recently we returned to check the fruits of our labour and were very pleased to see the hedge doing so well.

Hedgerow thriving

We planted extra Blackthorn to help boost populations of the Brown Hairstreak butterfly which is one of Britain’s rarest and most elusive butterflies. With loss of hedges, and hedge cutting disrupting the butterfly’s eggs, Brown Hairstreaks are now listed as a top conservation priority. For more information about this beautiful creature visit the Butterfly Conservation website.

It was exciting to see the Black Poplar saplings thriving as this species was once a staple of the British countryside but has declined in recent years. Lets hope these ones keep going from strength to strength.

Black Poplar sapling

We will revisit in a few months to see how it progresses and deals with the new seasons throughout the year. Keep a lookout for another update in a few months.

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