Tuesday 14th February 2006 by C. Freeman
Bored in the Holidays?
Don't know what to do? Missing Brooke Weston?
Don't forget you can come and help with the Megahedge project!
Joking aside, any volunteers for this project will be gratefully received. You will get professional tuition in hedge laying plus bread, soup and drinks and the chance to improve the environment.
The event runs between 10am and 5pm on Saturday 11 and Sunday 12 March. For more information see the larger article on the website, contact groundsman Paul Twamley or sign up with Tony Callaghan, BTCV Project and Training manager on 01604 643653.
Megahedge Event Comes To Brooke Weston
A 10-year plan is coming to fruition at Brooke Weston City Technology College as a decade old hedge is tamed to create a wildlife habitat. The British Trust for Conservation Volunteers will run a two day 'Megahedge' event giving professional tuition to up to 50 volunteers at the site in Great Oakley.
The 460 metre blackthorn hedge has taken ten years to mature to the stage where it is possible to be laid; a process where the branches are bent and interwoven to create a sturdy barrier and habitat for birds and small mammals. The environmentally friendly project will mean that even the discarded hedge clippings will be chipped and recycled on the College's rosebeds.
Paul Twamley, a groundsman at the College said: 'The main aim in laying the hedge is to get rid of any dead areas, to promote new growth, thicken the hedge and encourage wildlife to the area. If there's any places where the existing plants have died we can infill these to create a continuous barrier.'
The British Trust for Conservation Volunteers is involved in community projects throughout the United Kingdom and its aims are to improve the biodiversity and local environment and to get people involved in projects in their areas. Tony Callaghan, the Northamptonshire Training and Project Manager said: 'Basically the only things the volunteers will need is warm clothing and enthusiasm; we'll supply the rest.'
The BTCV will erect a marquee and supply bread, soup and drinks during the Megahedge event which will run between 10am and 5pm on Saturday 11 and Sunday 12 March. Three professionals will be on site to instruct the volunteers in the use of tools such as billhooks and loppers and their regular team will finish off the hedge during the subsequent week.
The BTCV normally run one 'Megahedge' event per year. Last year 50 volunteers managed to successfully tame around 230 metres of mixed hedge at Boddington over a weekend, and the BTCV hopes that the Brooke Weston event will be just as successful.
Volunteers who successfully complete 12 hours work satisfactorily over the two days will be eligible for a certificate (equivalent to a NVQ level one qualification) but it is the practical, hands-on experience that attracts most volunteers. As Tony Callaghan said: 'If people want to get good at hedge-laying then 12 hours practice, under the guidance of qualified professionals, is a very good introduction.'