A determined band of village volunteers went into battle with the overgrown hedge along the Froxfield nature reserve on the water meadow, last month.
The wildlife-friendly hedge was sadly weed-infested. It had been planted to form a boundary of the village’s water meadow Nature Reserve and established with the help of Action for River Kennet (ARK). All the recent rain caused an explosion of nettles and cleavers which threatened to suffocate many of the younger saplings in particular. However, after a couple hours of hard labour the 10 volunteers managed to hack it all back under control again and released the hedge to grow freely for the rest of the summer.
Some saplings are now more than 5 years old and securely established, but others have been planted only in the last few months to fill in gaps. Once fully mature, it is hoped the hedge will provide food and protection for birds while creating a peaceful haven within the reserve — with its wild ponds and habitats nestled between the A4 and the rare chalk stream tributary of the River Dun.
Vanya Body, Froxfield Parish Council