Tuesday, 10 April 2007

The Millenium Hedgerow (1997 -1998)

(Project 3 on Projects Map)
The idea was to restore a hedge on the east side of Park Road, Birchington from Woodchurch Farm to the junction with Shottendane Road. Quex Park who owned the land said 'yes' and it was just a case of getting sponsorship to buy plants and tree shelters.

A Sponsor a Tree Campaign raised over £600 and with money from Holland, Japan, TDC, Quex, The Albion Hotel, Chartwells and Morris General Stores and numerous sponsors in Thanet, the Group was able to start work. Work began at the Farm end and involved clearing to bare ground before any planting could begin.

Planting began in January 1997 and by March 400 hawthorns had been planted in a single row each with its tree-shelter and stake.

Meridian TV visited Trees for Thanet at work on 15th March and ran news items over that week-end on the project. On the 22nd March ,Leader of TDC Cllr. Margaret Davies came along to mark the end of planting for 1997 and planted the last hawthorn for the year.

The summer of 1997 saw hand weeding and maintenance and the picture below shows how quickly a young hedgerow can be overgrown. Those with a keen eye will see 'Alexanders' in the foreground!

In November 1997, planting began again and by March 1998, a further 600 hawthorns with a wildlife mix of 50 other species had been planted. To complete the 'Millenium Hedgerow', Roger Gale, MP for Thanet North, came and planted a small-leaved Lime to mark the end of the hedge on Saturday 21 March 1998.
The Millenium Hedgerow involved 53 young people from Thanet schools either digging, planting, attaching guards, hammering in stakes or the less popular task of hand-weeding. In 1999 the first tree guards were taken off; the picture below shows the young hedge on the left with the view to Woodchurch Farm from the start of the footpath that runs left to Shottendane Road.

In Spring 2000 the final tree shelters were taken off and a flattering low shot shows the single row hedgerow from the Shottendane Road end that summer and the effect of two years handweeding and strimming.

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