The children’s visit was part of Keep Wales Tidy’s Long Forest community hedgerow project, a scheme aimed at caring for the network of farm, wayside and garden hedgerows which are valuable highways for wildlife across Bannau Brycheiniog National Park.
The Long Forest initiative, funded by Bannau Brycheiniog Trust and Bannau Brycheiniog National Park Authority’s Sustainable Development Fund, aims to encourage schools, community groups, landowners and businesses to take an interest in their hedgerows and help maintain them. The project also gives groups the equipment, material and knowledge they need to plant hedges at their own sites.
Pupils from Ysgol Golwg y Cwm visited Craig-y-nos Country Park on Wednesday, February 27 to help replant a hedge in the attraction’s main car park. The original hedge, which formed part of the gardens belonging to the 19th Century opera star Adelina Patti, caught box blight this winter and had to be removed. Thanks to the help of pupils, aided by teachers and representatives from Keep Wales Tidy and Bannau Brycheiniog National Park Authority, a new mixed species hedgeline has been planted.
Keep Wales Tidy Officer Rachel Palmer, said: “Hedgerows are gradually disappearing from our landscape, and it’s vital that we properly maintain them. The Long Forest project is about educating groups from all over Bannau Brycheiniog National Park about the importance of our hedgerows by providing them with tools, equipment, training and guidance.
“It may have been cold but the children have done a fantastic job. I’m sure this hedge will look beautiful in a couple of years’ time when it is taller.”
Bannau Brycheiniog National Park Authority Estate Warden said Ian Penn: “To combat the box blight we planted a native species hedge, which will be resistant to the disease. It’s been great fun having the children here on the project, and we really appreciate the support we have received from Keep Wales Tidy.”
Mrs Selena Brenchley, a teacher at Ysgol Golwg y Cwm, said: “Today’s planting has been a fantastic way of helping the children understand the important role hedgerows play in supporting wildlife and controlling livestock. Activities like these foster the children’s respect for their environment and encourage them to take ownership of their environment as custodians of the future. These children will be our expert tree planters when we plant trees and hedges at our school.”
For more information about the Long Forest project please contact Keep Wales Tidy’s Rachel Palmer on 07717 497442 or email Rachel.firstname.lastname@example.org.