The hedgerows across our Community Woodland provide a vital habitat for many of our native species, which is why the ranger team were out earlier this month plugging gaps that had popped up in the hedgerows across our sites.

It's difficult to tell why these gaps occur: the young trees could have died before reaching maturity, fallen foul of grazing wildlife or be the result of "desire lines" being established (paths created as a consequence of erosion caused by human or animal foot traffic). Either way these gaps were identified as areas to improve by the rangers as part of monthly site checks, in order to create a thicker, denser hedgerow with vegetation and scattered hedgerow trees -  the type of hedge that most benefits nature.

The team started at our Gateway Woods site between Kempston and Wootton, before moving on to Folly Wood in Lidlington.

In total they planted:

16 trees in 3 gaps at Buttons Ramsey (totally 4m)

5 trees in 1 gap at The Kill (1m in length)

15 trees in 1 gap at Folly Wood (filling another 4m gap)


In addition to this we've also had a contractor on site at Wilstead Community Woodland planting hedges funded by the Newt Conservation Partnership, to help improve the terrestrial habitat of the area. Newts actually spend most of their time in the area around ponds rather than in the water: they forage for insects in grassland and, like many species, use hedgerows as corridors to move around the countryside. The hedgerow plants help create cover from predators so they can move around more safely. The hedge at Wilstead is approximately 400m long and joins two existing hedgerows together.


We've got a couple more hedgerows to plug in other sites across the Forest, which will be done once we've consulted the planning documents (to check for any infrastructure considerations) and the scheme created when the woodland was planted.