Volunteering as a Hedgerow Hero

By Ellie Banks

Ellie Banks is a volunteer for the Hedgerow Heroes project run by CPRE Hampshire. She tells us what she’s been doing to monitor and restore the health of hedgerows in South West Hampshire.

I wanted to get involved in the Hedgerow Heroes project because I want to work on a project, with goals and objectives, that I could really be a part of throughout the whole process.

Monitoring and restoring hedges

At the start of the project I was involved with carrying out bumblebee and butterfly surveys. This was to understand the numbers of pollinators using the hedges in their current state and to assess the health of the hedges.

'I am looking forward to seeing the new growth and improvement to the hedgerow health in spring.'

We have since had the opportunity to learn to lay some of the hedges with a local hedge-laying expert. I am looking forward to seeing the new growth and improvement to the hedgerow health in spring. I hope we’ll see lots more butterflies and bumblebees.

Challenging but rewarding work

I have really enjoyed learning to lay the old hedges, using traditional tools such as a Yorkshire and a billhook. The physical work has been really rewarding and I look forward to doing more soon.

'The physical work has been really rewarding.'

The most challenging thing for me was when laying the hedges as this required more strength than I am used to using. I look forward to when I am more practiced and my arms don’t ache so quickly.

Find out more

Learn more about CPRE Hampshire’s Hedgerow Hero project and how you can get involved.

Could you spare some time to volunteer for your local CPRE and stand with the countryside that you love? Learn more about the experience of volunteering for CPRE or drop us a line: volunteeringteam@cpre.org.uk.

Annie Spratt / Unsplash

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