Wednesday, 24 February 2016

Orlock Hedging

I've spent the day at Orlock, a property of the National Trust between Groomsport and Donaghadee, County Down.

The former coastguard lookout stands adjacent to the public road.

This former lookout is now surrounded by residential homes.

Today our task was to construct a hawthorn hedge.

The hawthorn trees are already there; our job was to bend them horizontally, using bill-hooks and saws.

The trick is to leave a mere "strap", a sort of ligament of the tree, very thin indeed.

The tree can then be bent down horizontally so that it stays alive.

This is a most satisfying pastime.

Most of the trees were relatively large, so it wasn't as easy as it might seem.

Some of the straps broke, which meant that we had to remove the tree for firewood.

The intention is to plant new hawthorn trees imminently to fill the gaps.

We enjoyed sunny intervals today, though there was a heavy hail shower which lasted five or ten minutes.

I munched away happily on egg salad sandwiches at lunchtime.

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