Providing Perches on the Wildlife Property Ladder

People have been providing perches on the property ladder for their wildlife neighbours.

The Friends of Newham Grange Park, in Stockton, gave up part of their weekend to install a hedge as a refuge for birds and small mammals.

But before getting their hands dirty yesterday, the group first had to learn about the traditional, but dying, craft of hedge-laying.

Some members of the group were very well prepared because they had taken a five-week hedge-laying course at East Durham & Houghall Community College.

The group’s goal is to improve a 100-metre section of hedgerow in the Stockton Borough Council-run park, just off the inner ring road.

The work, which began at the weekend, will continue during the spring. It is hoped that, besides providing a home for wildlife, the hedge, and the animals it shelters, will encourage more people to use the park.

College lecturer Jonathan Pounder said: “Hedge-laying is a traditional way to manage hedgerows. Sadly, in recent times, this traditional craft has become a dying art due to changes in agricultural practices. The volunteers have done a tremendous job and are getting to grips with the skills and equipment needed to carry out this task."