Hedges planted to celebrate Queen's Jubilee

The hedge planting in progress at Wood Farm, in Hail Weston.

The hedge planting in progress at Wood Farm, in Hail Weston. - Credit: ANNE MARIE HAMILTON

It is exciting to be celebrating a very special year for the monarchy, as Queen Elizabeth becomes the only monarch ever to reign over this country for 70 years.

There are countless celebrations being organised in the coming months, but we managed to get ours off to a good start, when three generations of our family set off one morning with seven English Oak trees that we had grown on the farm, and planted them as part of The Queen’s Green Canopy.

Hunts Post Farming Column from Anne-Marie Hamilton, of Wood Farm, Hail Weston.

Hunts Post Farming Column from Anne-Marie Hamilton, of Wood Farm, Hail Weston. - Credit: HUNTS POST

The canopy is a tree planting initiative which invites everyone across the United Kingdom to celebrate this unique Platinum Jubilee and the 70 years of service to this country by the Queen, through planting a tree.

A special map has been devised on the internet, so that people can mark the location of their contribution to the Green Canopy, and this will provide a permanent record.

Whilst it is the most amazing initiative, my one concern is that people must appreciate that actually planting a tree is only the start of a project. Like all things in nature, it will require nurturing and care in years to come.

Each planted sapling will not only need to be watered in dry weather, whilst it gets its roots established over a couple of years, but must also be kept regularly free of weeds, staked whilst it begins to grow, protected from inquisitive muntjac who will happily eat it, and pruned to remove any broken branches as it becomes established.

Wood Farm in Hail Weston is planting hedges for the jubilee celebrations.

Anne-Marie is keen to ensure that people take care of their trees and hedges after planting. - Credit: ANNE MARIE HAMILTON

Hedges have very similar needs, and even when fully established, still need care. They, too, need regular weeding and watering in the early years, and trimming to encourage fresh growth, so that they provide shelter for numerous species and invertebrates.

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Inevitably, as they get older, hedge bottoms tend to die back, and that is where the highly skilled, ancient craft of hedge-laying comes in to its own.

The dead and surplus wood is cut out, and then the good, strong boughs that are left, are woven together and held in place with stakes, recreating a beautiful hedge and first class habitat, once again.

As winter is an ideal time for hedge-laying, we have just had a thirty-year old hedge laid at Wood Farm. It looks amazing, and will be our other contribution towards celebrating this very special Platinum Jubilee.