Huge thank you to the eleven volunteers who helped to plant another wildlife/slow the flow hedge, near the source of the Snod this time alongside the bridleway from Hatway Hill down to Lower Sweetcombe Farm.  As always on the clay with flints, digging was a challenge, but the weather was very kind, for February, and then we had cake to finish, thanks to Mell and the children.

Also a big thank you for the Tree Council Branching Out Fund who arranged and paid for the whips.

The last hedgerow planting for this season, this morning’s efforts mean we have managed to plant over 9,500 whips and young trees in just two planting seasons and we are well on the way to meeting the target set by Sidmouth Town Council to plant 14,000 around the valley by 2027.

Apart from creating a future wildlife corridor, this hedgerow will play a vital role in the whole catchment run off project that is developing with other groups.  The aim is to use sustainable interventions to slow run off from the higher ground of the valley after heavy rain.  This will reduce flood risks and make the river healthier for the invertebrates and fish that have made it their home.

As you can see, the pasture is very wet and, if you look beyond the fence you can see it is only a short distance before the ground plunges down to the Snod.  A series of hedgerows, leaky dams and other groundworks will be installed around the area at the top of the steep valley sides over the next few years.  Apart from reducing flood risks, another benefit to holding water on the high ground is it makes the pastures more resilient in hot summer droughts.


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