This month we met on Saturday 1st February to continue pruning the blackthorn (Prunus spinosa, please) along the top of the hill. Left unmanaged, blackthorn will spread through the grasslands and all the way up to the pathway, taking over the grasslands and growing into small trees. We cut the shrubs down to about head height and filled the gaps with the brash to thicken it up a bit. This can look quite untidy to people, but as a Local Nature Reserve, we are doing our bit to support the site’s diverse wildlife by keeping the hedges in a denser, more shrub-like state.
It looks a little like warfare – and it felt like it, blackthorn is brutal! – but the hedge will come back stronger in the spring and summer. And look at the state of the hedge back in September shows just how big it had become:
Well done to the Friends of One Tree Hill volunteers for a sustained effort over the autumn and winter, we look forward to seeing it sprout anew in the coming months. Our next workday will be in March.