Monday, 30 April 2007


(See Project 9 on Trees for Thanet Project Map)

This project was to establish a hedge on the north side of the public bridleway running between Sparrow Castle Pumping Station on The Manston Road and Park Road. The hedge was planned to end at the southern boundary of Two Chimneys Caravan Park.

Planting began on Saturday 29th November 2003 and the last of 2000 plants was planted on Saturday 6th March. Plastic spiral guards and canes were used and this hedge has not been the happiest of Trees for Thanet's projects. Due to priorities elsewhere for weeding and maintenance the hedge was not hand weeded in the spring/ early summer of 2004 and was only weeded and strimmed in 2005. It has been quite clear that weed competition in dry summers restricts water to the hawthorns and they have grown more slowly as a result. The picture below shows the start of the hedgerow at Sparrow Castle in April 2007 after 3 summers' growth.
Shortly after planting, a gap had to be re-located to allow farm machinery access at the Sparrow castle end. A thief came along and thinned out 12 hawthorns in February 2004 and Crime Number GZ364-04 was given to the theft by Kent Police! During the summer of 2004, children 'playing' on the Bridleway whilst holidaying at Two Chimneys, thought it a good idea to rip out canes, plants and trees. To add insult to injury, farm machinery then rumbled over the hedge at Two Chimneys end where a gap had been deliberately filled by plants removed specifically to create a gap at the other end of the hedge! In November 2005 further damage was caused by ploughing too close to the hedge and back-row plants suffered. Spiral guards and canes were removed in February 2006.
Whilst this hedge has had its moments, it is turning out to be the best site for wild-life with an explosion in the short-tailed population along its length in the summers.

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