Feb 28, 2024Calixta Killander

Hello all,

Closing in on the last days to trim our hedges (UK law prevents trimming between 1 March and 31 August, to protect nesting birds), we've been busy this week – but have also taken the opportunity to plant more hedgerows.

Back in the day, all fields were divided by hedges, providing a natural barrier for livestock, and protecting and demarking different areas of fields, but modern-day changes in agricultural systems mean that many have sadly been removed.

Hedgerows provide so many benefits to the local ecosystem. They create wonderful habitat for wildlife, insects and pollinators, many of whom forage no more than 20 metres from the hedgerow or tree line. By planting as many hedges as we can, we're creating wildlife corridors to enable movement of many species around the farm. Native species, like hawthorn, provide nectar for pollinators when they blossom in the spring, and berries in autumn for small animals to forage. Hedges create safe areas for wildlife in winter (hedgehogs only live and travel in these networks) and microclimates for native plants to live and grow.

Legislators are waking up to their importance and now, thankfully, farmers are being encouraged to plant more – we've been planting native species, predominantly hawthorn, whose spiky profile creates a traditional barrier which is important especially when many of our fields run alongside the road.

We've also been building the brand new Flourish Plant Emporium here at our Farm Shop! A stall stocked with many of the ready-to-plant varieties we're growing right here on the farm, initially it's carrying strawberries and a few perennials, but we'll soon be adding a pick 'n' mix style selection that'll include niche cool things we’re growing in our propagation house each week.

Supplies are hopefully arriving today that'll see us erecting new polytunnels – to further extend our indoor growing space and the range of produce we can offer through the year. We're working as the weather allows, but windy and wet conditions are slowing us down a little.

Best wishes and look forward to seeing you in the shop soon,

Team Flourish

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