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Hedge-laying Work Parties Winter 2008 / 09


November 15 & 16
December 06 & 07
January 17 & 18
February 07 & 08


The Society's hedge-laying activities this winter were located on the Crickheath side of Waen Wen Basin at Malt House Bridge. Over four weekends from mid November to early February some 150 metres of hedge received our attention. Volunteer numbers varied between ten and twenty split between the three main tasks - working on the hedge, and the equally important tasks of producing stakes and bindings, and bonfires. The workforce was drawn from the Society's restoration and enhancement volunteers together with a number of new faces who were made most welcome.

Unlike the previous year, in which we were assisted by B.T.C.V. volunteers, the work this time was done exclusively by S.U.C.S. members with a little discreet encouragement and help from Wyn Evans. To general relief the hedge at Waen Wen was in much better condition than that last winter at Dolfor. It did however contain some large trees which required the attention of Mags on the chainsaw. The hedge itself was mainly hawthorn and hazel. These are some of the easier types to lay and as a result progress exceeded expectations. This year the hedge was finished in the 'midland style' which includes the distinguishing feature of a hazel binding along its top.

The work parties were most efficiently organised by Margaret Powell and Peter James.

We were based in a field adjacent to the old malthouse. The latter is now a busy truck depot whose owners permitted us to use their comprehensive multi-purpose welfare facilities. It is not just your correspondent's New Year resolution to be kind to Welfare Officers that dictates that special mention must be made of Rich Hamp's outstanding work in this role.

The photographs illustrate not only the 'before and after' but also some of the individual tasks that contribute to successful hedge-laying. The results, as can be seen, are most impressive.


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View from Malthouse Bridge - Before View from Malthouse Bridge - After
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The Malthouse in November 2008 The Malthouse in February 2009
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Towpath view on a frosty day in December 2008 Towpath view in February 2009
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View towards Bridge 86 Chainsaw in action
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Hedge-laying Fixing the bindings
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Burning brash and keeping warm Look what we've done!