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Young Hedgerow Heroes Get Stuck In At Ranton

29th August 2022

Primary school children joined forces with CPRE Staffordshire this summer to help survey the health of hedgerows on a Ranton farmer’s land.

Nine Year 4 children and two teachers from All Saints Primary School, Ranton, joined CPRE Staffordshire volunteer Leaf Pendragon and farmer Graham Ashford in surveying Graham’s ancient hedgerows on his smallholding.

Graham keeps Texel cross ewes as well as Jacob sheep and chickens. He’s previously partnered with local schoolchildren and CPRE Staffordshire to maintain his ponds and a conservation area, and to plant native trees on his land.

The children had lots of fun on the day recording various species of tree and invertebrate, and especially searching for CPRE Staffordshire’s cuddly hedgehog and woodlouse, learning lots about hedgerows – how they provide food and shelter for wildlife, a barrier for livestock and, importantly, how they can absorb large amounts of carbon.

The pupils brought along ‘yard sticks’ and diligently measured sections of hedgerow, estimated heights of mature trees, and determined the number and size of gaps within the hedgerow. Looking at existing species (including oak, hazel and hawthorn) and assessing the dominant species enabled the children to formulate a plan for future planting to keep the hedgerows healthy and robust.

The aim of this project is to assess the health of the hedgerow with a view to doing some infill planting in the coming autumn. The project is supported by Stafford Borough Councillor Mark Winnington, and funded by Staffordshire County Council’s Climate Action Fund, which offers assistance to local communities to build resilience and reduce Staffordshire’s contributions to climate change.

CPRE Staffordshire thanks Graham and the Ashford family, All Saints Primary School and volunteer Leaf for a wonderful afternoon of fun and useful work.

Please contact us if you are interested in planting hedgerows in your local area.

People walking in a field