Reprinted from Newsletter 108, dated 2003 August

A grand planting year by the tree troops: we reach 32,696

Ian Rands

Frequently one gets the impression that the cause of hedgerows is lost, and that the countryside is rapidly being denuded of its cover for wildlife, and “England will never look the same again.”

Well, last winter we planted 560 yards of traditional hedges: at East Pennard, Huxham Green and up by the Tor. This last was in Joe Joseph’s field — 320 yards, 1,420 shrubs and trees.

And, as if this weren’t enough good works, Joe has made a “permissive footpath” connecting Stonedown Lane with the usual footpath running along, or sometimes parallel with, the Oak Row down to Gog and Magog. A noble act indeed, and well worth a visit.

On Ian Tucker’s land at Wick Hill, we helped with the replanting of a wood which was shown on the Tythe Map of 1824 but which has not existed within living memory. It now contains 901 trees with stakes and tubes on about 3½ acres of quite hilly land.

With a few trees for filling gaps or replacing losses, we planted last winter 3,572 trees — our highest score yet — bringing the grand total of trees planted by Glastonbury Conservation Society up to 32,696. As reported in the January issue, tree number 30,000 was planted with due ceremony on November 23.

Dear readers all, pray take off your hats to the folk who have done all the hard work towards achieving our greatest winter planting so far:

Terry and Anne Carmen, Neil Stevenson, Nathan Pritchard, John Brunsdon, Ian Rands, Janet Morland, Joe Joseph, Alan Fear, Adrian Pearse, Keith Matthews, Richard Raynsford, Joe Keers, Andrew Bond, John Morland, Ian, Carol, John, David and Gwen Tucker, “John with a bad knee”, Matthew Bell, Derek Hankins, Phil and Su Ackerman, Martin and Lynda Lofthouse, Stuart Marsh, Su Manson, Pat Mead.

Twenty of us attended the supper for tree-planters at the Apple Tree pub, West Pennard — for which, many thanks.

Hedgerow brainstretcher

It is said that the average Englishman or woman can think of the names of only 15 native woodland and hedgerow trees.

In one of our projects last winter — for Stephen and Christine Jackson — in a hedge of only 170 yards we planted 21 varieties. See if you can guess them. Write down your list — no looking them up or asking other people — and then hold the page upside-down to a mirror.

  • ash
  • beech
  • purple beech
  • blackthorn
  • purging buckthorn
  • wild cherry
  • crabapple
  • red dogwood
  • hawthorn
  • hazel
  • holly
  • hornbeam
  • field maple
  • oak
  • wild privet
  • dog rose
  • guilder rose
  • wild service
  • spindle
  • wayfaring
  • whitebeam