Hedges could stand 10ft tall in re-wilding project

Left, Felbeck Trust chairman Trevor Williams

From left, Felbeck Trust chairman Trevor Williams, Sean Dempster, Bev Taylor, Val Stubbs and Nigel Smith at the site in West Beckham.     - Credit: Supplied by NNDC

Hedges standing 10ft tall could soon be looming above a parcel of land that used to be used for allotments in a north Norfolk village. 

The Felbeck Trust environmental charity is transforming a four acre site in West Beckham, near Sheringham, into a wildflower meadow with hedgerows to encourage the return of birds, mammals and insects. 

Trevor Williams, the trust's chairman, said volunteers had been busy at the plot, which was also formerly a daffodil field. 

He said: "We've gone through an era where many hedgerows were taken out. 20 years ago we were ripping out hedges and now we're replacing them. 

"Not only are we putting hedges back but we're putting them back in such a manner that they might grow quite tall and thick. Hedges that are 10ft tall [three metres] are known to be far more productive than those that are kept at two metres [6.5ft]. And they provide a variety of different habitats for different species."

Mr Williams said the goal not only to encourage new growth and wildlife, but to provide "some sort of public access" so people could enjoy the area. 

The project is being undertaken in partnership with North Norfolk District Council, whom the trust has worked with previously on restoring the 20-acre Sadler's Wood site in North Walsham. 

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Nigel Lloyd, the council's portfolio holder for environmental services and climate change, said the project contributed to NNDC's overall aim of re-planting in the district. The council currently aims to plant 110,000 trees - one for each district resident - over the four years to April 2023. 

Mr Lloyd said: "It’s community groups like the Felbeck Trust that make north Norfolk exceptional – the hard work and dedication to nature, wildlife and biodiversity is what makes our district what it is.

"We’re appreciative of all the work they do and proud to have their support for the 110,000 Trees Project, for which they’ve been very active.”

Mr Williams added: "We hope that the council's ambitions around tree planting and the benefits towards biodiversity and climate change can be met."

To find out more about the trust, visit www.felbecktrust.org.uk.