Stone sign and Sheepdrove hedgerow

A New Hedgerow Shelter for Sheepdrove Wildlife

It always a pleasure to welcome local hedge layer and woodsman Tom Fortune (based in Kintbury) back to the farm. 

Tom found time in his busy schedule to squeeze in laying an overgrown mixed native hedgerow that borders the “sheepdrove” aka drovers road and the farm track that leads to Greendown Farm and the Wantage Road.

The “hedge” had grown up into a series of small and rather leggy trees. Laying will regenerative the hedgerow by encouraging new thicker and denser growth from the base to create a linear thicket that can provide essential shelter and safe corridors for wildlife movement.

In the days before barbed wire, hedges had to be stock proof and thousands of farm hands would have spent months and months painstakingly managing hedges with slashers and axes.

The hedge has been laid “South of England” style. Stakes and binders made of hazel support the cut stems (called pleachers) while they regrow so we have an instant bushy sheltered home and wild way for bugs, birds and small mammals – all of which supports our resident owls and birds of preys

He’s promised to come back next year to lay a mixed hedgerow that we planted as a wind barrier alongside the metal sheep lined drive down to our event and office spaces, guest accommodation and farm buildings.

Follow Tom on Instagram 

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