The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #162614   Message #3870984
Posted By: Steve Shaw
11-Aug-17 - 06:57 AM
Thread Name: BS: Hedgerows and Verges
Subject: RE: BS: Hedgerows and Verges
Hedge-cutting at appropriate times of the year is beneficial to wildlife. Hedges are not natural habitats but they are excellent refuges for many species that are deprived of habitats that have become a lot rarer, such as clearings and wood margins, and they make excellent wildlife corridors. Sensitively done, hedge management maintains species diversity. I don't regard the brutal use of flailing to be sensitive hedge management. I hate to see a hedge full of torn branches. Verges can be mowed for just a couple of feet at the road's edge, leaving the taller herbs further back to flourish and encouraging lower-growing species at the road edge. That's good management for diversity. If the plants are getting in way of traffic safety, or if roadsides are insensitively managed, then that's a result of poor management, ignorance or cost-cutting and that's where your annoyance should be directed. Here in Cornwall we have thousands of miles of hedges and narrow country lanes but I'm rarely aware of traffic hazards caused by overgrowth. I do see a lot of flailing, though, and some unnecessary mowing yards back from the road edge. I was infuriated when a lovely bank of southern marsh orchids in full bloom was demolished by an ignoramus with a tractor mower. I suppose the golden age was when many more people lived in the country and we had our hedges properly laid by skilled people. Never to return, eh? Anyway, slow down and enjoy the flowers and insects. Wind your window down and listen to the birdsong. I was forced to slow down for a whole hour yesterday afternoon, moving at less than walking pace through the southbound roadworks at the M6/M5 junction. It was a very nice day and it was amazing what could be seen growing on the banks and the central reservation. I put on some Woody Guthrie and consumed two boxes of TicTacs. It wasn't all bad.