Wednesday, 19 March 2008


(Project 16 on Projects Map)

The new hedgerow project on Shottendane Road sponsored by Infratil (owners of Manston Airport) and Oasis Hong Kong Airlines was completed on Saturday 15 March 2008. In total, 2331 hawthorns and 26 wild cherry have been planted and 583 m of mulch sheet laid. Work began in earnest in January and its good to have finished the project within the time allocated.

The photograph below shows the laying, spading in and 'turf' weighting in progress. One of the problems we are experiencing is the early budding of the cut off hawthorn stems with the result that with even with great care taken, buds sprouting from the stem are damaged when laying the sheeting down. The idea of mulch sheeting is to suppress weeds, retain moisture and reduce maintenance in the first few years of the hedgerow's establishment. The photograph below shows the project from the junction of Shottendane Road and Minster Road looking west towards our Site 2 at the junction of Park Road with Shottendane Road. We have one or two serious infestations along the verge of 'Alexanders' and it is amazing to see them in flower in March! (They are meant to flower in June/July)

Monday, 17 March 2008


The strange sight of all our trees on The Phillips Shelter Belt, Acol Hill covered in black dustbin bags was too good to miss. The story goes back to October 2007 when Quex Park were expected to drill grass seed into a 6m wide strip beside the road; wheat was drilled instead!

The blag bags were put on one morning in the last week of February to protect the young plants from herbicide and by early afternoon the shelter belt strip was sprayed with a weak Round-Up mixture to kill the wheat growing in it. The effect two weeks later is shown in the photograph below.

In late March, on a mild wet day, the strip will be hand-sown with a wildlife grass mix and hopefully we will achieve a grass sward to encourage wild-life whilst the shelter belt grows. The hymn 'Plough the fields and scatter' comes to mind.