WOODHALL ESTATE

HERTFORDSHIRE

Hedgelaying
Forward planning is key to maximising the long term benefits for wildlife at the Woodhall Estate. Vast stretches of hedgerows have been planted over the years and now that they have established we want them to be beneficial to as much wildlife as possible.
 
Part of our winter/spring programme of works is spent hedgelaying in an effort to make the hedgerows as wide and as dense as possible.  They can then act as a wind break which helps to catch seeds to either provide food for wildlife or produce strong regrowth, thickening the lower layer of vegetation.  The hedgerow plants often still flower and fruit that same year which can be an adverse effect of continual hedge cutting rather than planned hedge management.
 
Positive hedgerow management has many benefits:  songbirds have a greater chance of finding a safe refuge in the centre, away from predators trying to steal their eggs.  Hedge trimmings are mixed into or stacked near to the area to naturally decay for the benefit of insects and their habitats.

As soon as our hedgelaying operations are completed song birds definitely seem to be attracted to them even in the winter months, and now it is June we would like to think that there are plenty of safely fledged  birds successfully finding a steady supply of little caterpillars to feed on.