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BS: Hedgerows and Verges

Raggytash 11 Aug 17 - 05:33 PM
Raggytash 11 Aug 17 - 02:58 PM
Iains 11 Aug 17 - 02:53 PM
Raggytash 11 Aug 17 - 02:33 PM
Raggytash 11 Aug 17 - 02:12 PM
Steve Shaw 11 Aug 17 - 01:57 PM
Jon Freeman 11 Aug 17 - 01:38 PM
Raggytash 11 Aug 17 - 01:32 PM
Steve Shaw 11 Aug 17 - 12:31 PM
Iains 11 Aug 17 - 11:22 AM
Jon Freeman 11 Aug 17 - 11:21 AM
Steve Shaw 11 Aug 17 - 11:14 AM
Iains 11 Aug 17 - 11:02 AM
Steve Shaw 11 Aug 17 - 11:01 AM
Steve Shaw 11 Aug 17 - 10:52 AM
Jon Freeman 11 Aug 17 - 10:38 AM
Raggytash 11 Aug 17 - 10:27 AM
Iains 11 Aug 17 - 10:13 AM
Jon Freeman 11 Aug 17 - 09:59 AM
Raggytash 11 Aug 17 - 09:48 AM
Iains 11 Aug 17 - 09:42 AM
Raggytash 11 Aug 17 - 09:37 AM
Iains 11 Aug 17 - 09:27 AM
Jon Freeman 11 Aug 17 - 09:22 AM
Raggytash 11 Aug 17 - 09:05 AM
Steve Shaw 11 Aug 17 - 08:59 AM
Steve Shaw 11 Aug 17 - 08:44 AM
Iains 11 Aug 17 - 08:23 AM
Jon Freeman 11 Aug 17 - 08:20 AM
Raggytash 11 Aug 17 - 07:34 AM
Iains 11 Aug 17 - 07:27 AM
Steve Shaw 11 Aug 17 - 06:57 AM
Iains 11 Aug 17 - 06:49 AM
Raggytash 11 Aug 17 - 06:41 AM
Iains 11 Aug 17 - 06:21 AM
Raggytash 11 Aug 17 - 06:15 AM
Iains 11 Aug 17 - 06:12 AM
Raggytash 11 Aug 17 - 05:52 AM
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Subject: RE: BS: Hedgerows and Verges
From: Raggytash
Date: 11 Aug 17 - 05:33 PM

Iains, sorry to say your link at 11.02 to the Irish Examiner failed to come up. Pity because it sounded interesting.


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Subject: RE: BS: Hedgerows and Verges
From: Raggytash
Date: 11 Aug 17 - 02:58 PM

I MAY be still kicking around in 20 years ........... conversely I might have 20 minutes!!


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Subject: RE: BS: Hedgerows and Verges
From: Iains
Date: 11 Aug 17 - 02:53 PM

The ghost orchid must be it's cousin!


http://news.nationalgeographic.com/2016/07/search-for-rare-british-ghost-orchid/


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Subject: RE: BS: Hedgerows and Verges
From: Raggytash
Date: 11 Aug 17 - 02:33 PM

PS I don't claim, as you know, to be an expert on such matters !!


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Subject: RE: BS: Hedgerows and Verges
From: Raggytash
Date: 11 Aug 17 - 02:12 PM

I'll take a photograph .................. next year!!


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Subject: RE: BS: Hedgerows and Verges
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 11 Aug 17 - 01:57 PM

I've double-checked and I can't find any military orchid records for Ireland, Raggytash. It's an extremely rare species in Britain too; in fact, it was once thought to be extinct.


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Subject: RE: BS: Hedgerows and Verges
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 11 Aug 17 - 01:38 PM

I'd never have the nerve to try some of the stuff you do Steve, and yep am aware it's not just toadstools where mistakes can be made; I'd not know your wild parsley from its deadly relatives...

Have often wanted to try a real horse mushroom (which I sort of gather is like a field mushroom plus, on flavour as well as size)and mum has tales of her and her mum picking and using them. Don't know where they grow round here.


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Subject: RE: BS: Hedgerows and Verges
From: Raggytash
Date: 11 Aug 17 - 01:32 PM

Steve, please let the Botanical Society of Britain and Ireland know I've seen them !!


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Subject: RE: BS: Hedgerows and Verges
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 11 Aug 17 - 12:31 PM

That's a stinker all right. But everything has its place. Even slugs and mosquitoes.

If you find a giant puffball that hasn't yet gone powdery in the middle, slice it into half-inch thick slices. Dip each slice in beaten egg then well-seasoned breadcrumbs, then fry in butter for a few minutes. Eat with grilled or fried kippers. Nirvana. Not boil-in-bag kippers. They are are the flabby, sloppy spawn of the devil.

If the puffball has gone over and is full of powder, marvel in the fact that there are as many spores in your puffball as there are people on earth. It's no longer nice to eat, though. My favourite fungus is horse mushrooms. Occasionally, just one specimen is enough for two. Just make sure that it isn't a yellow stainer unless you like bellyaches. When you scratch the stalk with your nail you get a gorgeous aniseed smell. Yellow stainers on the other hand go yellow and smell inky. Another favourite of mine is the parasol. It's at its best when the cap is about half-open. After that the cap goes too dry and you may be faced with more maggot than mushroom. Fry in butter. If you find a patch of field mushrooms, rejoice, but don't just pick them and stash them in bags. They need to be transported all the right way up, otherwise soil and grit will get into the gills and add a detestable crunch. Plenty more!


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Subject: RE: BS: Hedgerows and Verges
From: Iains
Date: 11 Aug 17 - 11:22 AM

As I said not too sure about fungi or plants come to that. I meant Phallus impudicus.


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Subject: RE: BS: Hedgerows and Verges
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 11 Aug 17 - 11:21 AM

Maybe the thing that sometimes grows in our small "wood garden" bit at the front was meant - stinkhorn?


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Subject: RE: BS: Hedgerows and Verges
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 11 Aug 17 - 11:14 AM

Stinking hellebore is a flowering plant.


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Subject: RE: BS: Hedgerows and Verges
From: Iains
Date: 11 Aug 17 - 11:02 AM

I have seen walnut growing by a road in monmouthshire and whinberries on top of drystone walls in the same county. Hedgerows frequently have trees left to grow to maturity.Not too sure about most fungi I have seen stinking hellebore in hedgerows and mushrooms in the verge. I would agree quiet byways are the places to go hunting.
anyway for your sojourn in Ireland:

www.irishexaminer.com/lifestyle/foodanddrink/darinaallen/edible-wild-plants-found-along-the-roadside-are-added-to-all-the-following-recipes-399485.html


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Subject: RE: BS: Hedgerows and Verges
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 11 Aug 17 - 11:01 AM

Raggytash, the Botanical Society of Britain and Ireland, of which I'm a member, reports that the military orchid is absent from Ireland.


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Subject: RE: BS: Hedgerows and Verges
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 11 Aug 17 - 10:52 AM

You will not find walnut trees in hedges. You may find something edible in the fungus department at the bottom of a hedge, but all the ones I eat grow in open grassy places, except perhaps for shaggy inkcaps which grow on my compost heap. Bilberries, moorland. They sometimes grow on the stone boundaries on Dartmoor. You'd be lucky to get a decent cherry to eat. The birds generally scoff the lot before they're properly ripe. A stone hedge near us harbours wild parsley, every bit as good as cultivated. You have to be careful, though, as hemlock grows close by and the leaves out of context aren't that different!


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Subject: RE: BS: Hedgerows and Verges
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 11 Aug 17 - 10:38 AM

Agree with couple of your thoughts in a sense, Raggy but that is likely down to my own lack of knowledge. I'd not say impossible but I've only known walnut as a very big tree and very early childhood memory would point me to say the Stiperstones type area of Shropshire for bilberries.


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Subject: RE: BS: Hedgerows and Verges
From: Raggytash
Date: 11 Aug 17 - 10:27 AM

Well walnut trees tend to grow to a massive size, not the sort I would associate with a hedgerow, hazelnuts, crab apples, cherry the same, although I wouldn't rule it out entirely. Bilberrys tend to grow on moorland and edible fungi I don't touch as I don't know which are edible. Don't they tend to grow in woodland though.

I tend not to forage by busy roads, too many headcases in rally cars for starters, but quiet byroads and lanes are rich pickings


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Subject: RE: BS: Hedgerows and Verges
From: Iains
Date: 11 Aug 17 - 10:13 AM

Raggytash walnuts, hazelnuts, crab apples, cherry, bilberry,edible fungi....to name but a few. But vehicle emissions and plant take up may put some off foraging. Hedgerows have also been called the long acre when it comes to grazing, especially either side of some of the old drove roads. Uncommon now but I have seen quite a few traveller's horses tethered on the roadside and the odd householder's goat. (where I am now there are feral goats-The story goes that they graze the more inaccessible ledges and the suicidal sheep have to find other avenues of escape)


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Subject: RE: BS: Hedgerows and Verges
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 11 Aug 17 - 09:59 AM

I'd need to read up (did once read a short book but memory's fading) but I believe hedges used to be rather more productive than that and that foraging was once important? Hazel is another I can think of once picking. Not sure if it was by design but you can find crab apple trees in some of the hedges round here.


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Subject: RE: BS: Hedgerows and Verges
From: Raggytash
Date: 11 Aug 17 - 09:48 AM

However fruit and veg are not, normally, grown on the verges or hedgerows. (Blackberry's sloe's hips excepted)


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Subject: RE: BS: Hedgerows and Verges
From: Iains
Date: 11 Aug 17 - 09:42 AM

https://www.verdict.co.uk/british-suppliers-wanted-uk-doesnt-produce-enough-home-grown-food/


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Subject: RE: BS: Hedgerows and Verges
From: Raggytash
Date: 11 Aug 17 - 09:37 AM

It's not that I'm poor John, my knowledge is almost not existent, however that means I have hours of enjoyment in front of me.

Some I know like the Gentian, Primrose and Ox Eye Daisy but the area where we are in Ireland is noted for it's orchids, like the Common Spotted Orchid and the Early Purple Orchid or a new one to me (like many others) The Military Orchid, to say naught of the myriad of other flowers.


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Subject: RE: BS: Hedgerows and Verges
From: Iains
Date: 11 Aug 17 - 09:27 AM

Agriculture in the UK contributes just 0.6% of our GDP. But nearly 50% of our food. It helps to keep the correct perspective.


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Subject: RE: BS: Hedgerows and Verges
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 11 Aug 17 - 09:22 AM

I maybe shouldn't admit it Raggy but I'm pretty poor. I got stumped on yarrow in my strimming the other day... Mum is much better and instantly gave me the name and also a vetch I brought in... But her mother by local reputation was the one. She was supposed to have names (I guess in some cases local) of "everything" that grew in her Shropshire borders village and where to find them... When not busy as postmistress, it sounds like it was a big part of her life that she grew up with.


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Subject: RE: BS: Hedgerows and Verges
From: Raggytash
Date: 11 Aug 17 - 09:05 AM

I was so intrigued by the variety of plants in the verges, most of which I did not know, that I bought a couple of books of wild flowers in order that I could learn something of them. Even with the books there were flowers that we not included. A steep learning curve beckons!!


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Subject: RE: BS: Hedgerows and Verges
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 11 Aug 17 - 08:59 AM

I want to admire a view and eat. But keep it in proportion. Agriculture in the UK contributes just 0.6% of our GDP. You're not going to stop eating any time soon. Agriculture has a huge role to play in maintaining biodiversity in a pleasant environment and has often not carried out that role very well. Of course, it has to be paid for. Looking after hedges better is a part of that discussion.


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Subject: RE: BS: Hedgerows and Verges
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 11 Aug 17 - 08:44 AM

Well we are stuck with flailing, though there are alternatives such as shaping saws which leave a much tidier result. Flails are often not sharpened enough, or inappropriately used on overgrown hedges in a single pass, hence the rippped branches can be far worse then they need to be. But there's a lot to consider. It's a lousy farmer who needs to cut all his hedges at once. There's no need to cut hedges every year. Also, it's possible to cut just the one side of a hedge that's growing over roads or lanes. A variety of hedge heights and shapes is good for diversity. Hedges that simply divide fields don't need the same close attention as hedges along roads. Young trees can be left uncut. It's great to see laid hedges but we're never going to go back to that. We should require landowners to show imagination in preserving a diversity of hedges, not just treat the land like a factory floor (like one farmer near us who has the cheek to run a "wildlife centre" on his extremely sterile farm - you can walk across his land for a quarter of an hour through huge, unhedged fields of oilseed rape and you won't see a weed or a butterfly or hear a bird singing).


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Subject: RE: BS: Hedgerows and Verges
From: Iains
Date: 11 Aug 17 - 08:23 AM

With reference to hedge laying a return to tradition methods of management would be welcome...

In the ideal world I could probably agree, but that is not the reality.
Modern farming recognises the merits of conservation but it is also required to make a profit. It would be nice to go back to the days of a little grey fergie with a fingerbar mower and 2 furrow plough but it is not likely to happen. GLAS payments require new hedging for some farmers yet others have their single farm payment penalised for allowing hedge encroachment into fields. Planning permission is often required to grub up hedges, remove drystone walls, reclaim land or drain it. On some farms I know of the internal farm tracks were fine in the days of a donkey and cart but now the tyres on tractors get ripped by quartz in the drystone walls and the tracks are not wide enough for modern kit to travel along them. Modern farming dictates what has to be done and legislation keeps a tight rein on practises.
At the end of the day it is a stark choice- Do you want to admire a view or eat. Both sides can only compromise so far.


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Subject: RE: BS: Hedgerows and Verges
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 11 Aug 17 - 08:20 AM

It's the flailers on the roads round here. As for road safety, I can think of a few road junctions onto the A140 and A149 that become blind when the hedges are not cut back. We dislike coming onto the A149 from Thorpe Market. Fortunately that junction is on a 30mph section of the main road but there are times when one has to edge out a long way onto the main road before seeing clearly both ways to turn right.

At the moment, I'm wishing the farm/landowner could be persuaded to take a flailer down the track round the back here and cut a section of what I guess started life as a hedge back. They did clear a lot as far as the septic tank back last year (it had spread out so far that the tractor that sometimes comes down to empty it, had to have a wheel on the (??barley last year???) field but stopped there.

It might sound crazy as I do spend time in the lower part of this area but I don't seem to notice what happens in front of my own eyes. It was only after I looked at some photos taken in 2003 (relatively early days for me here but I'd think reflecting how things would have been after a brother and my mother originally cleared her patch and a time when the farm at least used to have a passing interest in the barn). I'd not noticed how far things have spread or even that it is impossible to open the right sliding barn door for a mix of mostly brambles and blackthorn or tt the track ad moved prgessively closer to the field.

I've completed my small task for now on the track, ie. ensuring the pickup which brings logs here has a route through ? it really did get overgrown this year, and I found another thing ? one I'd not noticed happen before. Part of the track was blocked by a wall of what I think is creeping thistle and there is a bit of that in other areas now. I don't know but is it possible that having a new soak-away or the tank last year could have disturbed and stimulated something? Not sure what (probably the farm ? it's off our rented bit) should be doing about it. I read it is classed as an "injurious weed" and its root system sounds quite, shall I say, robust.

Anyway, back to another thought I sometimes have and may have expressed before? Even if we had the resources to rent and cut back further, eg. opening up a second set of pigsties, I don't think we'd take it. We've got our own patch that my mother, in particular loves. The farm either side of the split and track have 90 acres on which to grow crops. It's good that wildlife also gets its untouched allocation.


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Subject: RE: BS: Hedgerows and Verges
From: Raggytash
Date: 11 Aug 17 - 07:34 AM

Iains, I'm not sure what point you are trying to make with references to Motor Rallying, I am not averse to rallying, it does not really float my boat but neither do many other sports.

With reference to hedge laying a return to tradition methods of management would be welcome but the financial constraints of such will ensure it is very unlikely to happen.


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Subject: RE: BS: Hedgerows and Verges
From: Iains
Date: 11 Aug 17 - 07:27 AM

Are you suggesting a flail mower should not be used and we go back to a bygone age of labour intensive hedge laying?


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Subject: RE: BS: Hedgerows and Verges
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 11 Aug 17 - 06:57 AM

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.


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Subject: RE: BS: Hedgerows and Verges
From: Iains
Date: 11 Aug 17 - 06:49 AM

Irish country roads present a professional rally driver with a challenge if they wish to drive fast!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xu6PF_D9uyY


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Subject: RE: BS: Hedgerows and Verges
From: Raggytash
Date: 11 Aug 17 - 06:41 AM

That would seem to be a reasoned response, the two pertinent lines being:

"But the season when this is permitted under the Wildlife Act is between the start of September and the end of February the following year"

And

"The only exception is if there are road safety implications."

Thus if a particular portion of hedgerows creates a danger it can be trimmed, we don't need to destroy vast tracts of verge and hedgerow.

But as I said in another thread, we could always drive slower.


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Subject: RE: BS: Hedgerows and Verges
From: Iains
Date: 11 Aug 17 - 06:21 AM

Raggytash. Here is the article:
RSA expert: Reporting overgrown hedges and verges to the local council saves lives
* Our RSA expert highlights the need to trim hedges and verges
Overgrown hedges can cause problems at this time of year.
1
Overgrown hedges can cause problems at this time of year.

August 26 2015 2:30 AM         
            

Overgrown hedges and road-side verges pose problems this time of year.

That is especially the case on our smaller rural roads.

We at the Road Safety Authority are starting to get complaints from the public about the difficulties untrimmed verges and overgrown hedges are posing for pedestrians and cyclists.

We've also received a formal request from the Roads and Transportation Strategic Policy Committee at Cork County Council, seeking our help on the issue.

Section 70 of the Roads Act 1993 places responsibility for the maintenance of roadside hedges on the owners/occupiers of the adjoining lands.

The responsibility for the maintenance of roadside verges rests with the local authority.

But the season when this is permitted under the Wildlife Act is between the start of September and the end of February the following year.

The only exception is if there are road safety implications.

Generally, given the number of roads and funding issues, cutting verges has a low priority compared with other road maintenance elements.

And where work is carried out, priority is given to sight-lines at junctions or obstructions to road signs, for example.

This year Cork County Council is planning to step up its awareness campaign at the start of September to remind landowners of their hedge cutting responsibilities.

This will include placing ads in local newspapers, on local radio and on the Council's website.

We always say road safety is a shared responsibility, that if left up to state agencies alone, our road safety strategy will fail.

We will only make our roads a safer place if we all step up to the mark and take personal responsibility.

In this case, councils have an obligation to ensure that the road-side verge is maintained.

Equally, landowners and anyone living along the road side has a responsibility to check that hedges or trees on their property are not causing a hazard.

A vigilant public can also play a role here too: by reporting overgrowth to your local council.

Each local authority has powers to require landowners to take action where a tree, shrub, hedge or other vegetation is a potential hazard.

But it's not all stick.

There is a carrot approach too.

Cork County Council is proposing to pilot a community hedge-cutting grant scheme in one area similar to one currently operated by Clare County Council.

That scheme, in operation since 2013, encourages a joint approach with communities and groups of local residents and landowners, for cutting hedges and trees which need attention.

The grant will contribute ?25 per km, which equates to about 40pc of the cost.


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Subject: RE: BS: Hedgerows and Verges
From: Raggytash
Date: 11 Aug 17 - 06:15 AM

Iains, unfortunately that comes up as 404 Page Not Found.


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Subject: RE: BS: Hedgerows and Verges
From: Iains
Date: 11 Aug 17 - 06:12 AM

http://www.independent.ie/life/motoring/car-news/rsa-expert-reporting-overgrown-hedges-and-verges-to-the-local-council-saves-liv


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Subject: BS: Hedgerows and Verges
From: Raggytash
Date: 11 Aug 17 - 05:52 AM

A couple of weeks ago I extolled the beauties of hedgerows and verges on the lanes in the west coast of Ireland. Wild plants and shrubs were ablaze in full colour with an intoxicating mixture of flowers of all hues.

I was somewhat surprised when another poster said:

"Roll On the 31st August when the flail cutters can come out in all their glory and tame the hedgerows again. This will make driving along narrow country roads marginally safer. Nice the nesting birds take precedence over the safety of humans"

Am I alone in taking delight in the glories of hedgerows full of fuschia, montbretia, meadowsweet, hawkweed, vetch etc etc


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