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This spring,as part of our war on plastic we have removed many plastic tree guards from the immediate area. This has in part been possible by a reduction in local rabbit populations but the question arises: How were the thousands of miles of hedgerow, which were planted in the 18th century, and long before, protected? The answer is probably that most did not need protection and where damage did occur the plants would have been replaced. However one practice was to use 'dead hedges' or cut stems from managed existing thorn scrub, to surround the new plant and give it a head start from grazing animals. Rabbits and hares prefer to graze close to ground level so a thorny barrier of say a metre high would deter them. Another effective grazer and browser of shrubs is the Munjac Deer, below, which has spread into Lincolnshire in recent years. A resident pair is often seen in broad daylight around the barn.
Published by Charles Overton at April 1, 2019, 10:37 am