We held a wonderful planting event at Ladywell spiritual retreat in March. We invited Year 5 from St Edmunds to plant a hedgerow at Ladywell’s request. Criss-crossing the countryside, hedgerows are long rows of bushes and can be seen dividing up farmland and landscapes. They are often a mix of shrub and tree species.

Mainly used as barriers to prevent livestock from escaping from the fields or to form boundaries, hedgerows also have many ecological benefits. Older hedgerows support an amazing diversity of plants and animals providing wildlife with a home and food. Butterflies dormice, bank voles, harvest mice, hedgehogs, bats and birds can be found in hedgerows. They can also prevent soil erosion, capture pollutants such as fertilisers and pesticides running off fields, and store carbon to help combat climate change.

We planted Dogrose – a thorny climber, that weaves in between other shrubs, large pink or white five petalled flowers with a faint sweet smell, Bird cherry – which has mahogany coloured bark and in spring it has bowl-shaped white flowers, followed by small cherry-like fruit, Plum cherry – with an early white blossom, and yellow or red cherry like fruits which birds eat, Rowan – whose flowers provide pollen and nectar for bees and the berries are a rich source of autumn food for birds, especially the blackbird, and Spindle – which when it matures can grow to 9m and can live for more than 100 years!

Year 5 St Edmunds pupils started off the afternoon discussing climate change and the environmental impact we all have on the earth. They knew such a huge amount about climate crises, such as hurricanes, deforestation, wildfires, as well as what we can all do to help slow down the effects of climate change. Then we explored the woods that are already there identifying the different trees – no easy feet in winter when there are no leaves. But we managed! These children are very well informed! I was certainly impressed and so were the sisters who came along to help plant. With such a huge range of aged participants, it was a truly inter-generational workshop.

We finished off the afternoon with well-deserved sweet treats, courtesy of the sisters.

Get in touch if your school would like to get involved in one of our planting sessions.