Mike and Tom (NT Rangers) were recently joined by an enthusiastic team of volunteers from around the county for a National Trust Working Holiday. For one weekend only, the volunteers were tasked with some much needed patching up of traditional Cornish hedges at Park Head, near Porthcothan. Unlike many hedges around the country, Cornish hedges are generally stone faced earth banks that may or may not have trees or bushes growing along the top. If anything is growing, it’s usually bent horizontal under the onslaught of the strong south westerly winds! Despite this, the Cornish hedge is an amazing habitat for a wide range of wild flowers, lichens and insects so it’s great to get out and fix them up.
On day one, the volunteers excavated to the foundation stones with spade and mattock. After this they quickly found their stride, building up layers of stone and earth to restore the hedge to its former glory, knowing that if looked after, the hedge could last another 100 years or so.
On the second day, the volunteers threw their aching muscles into another style of hedging; the more aesthetic ‘herring bone’ or ‘curzy way’. Quickly mastering this fine art, in no time at all the hedge was as good as new or in this case as good as the 150 year old original hedge! Thanks to all the volunteers for the hard work they put in!
To find out more about National Trust working holidays go to: www.nationaltrust.org.uk/holidays/working-holidays/
To celebrate their weekend of work, the group created a geocache box called ‘The Wrath of Zen’ and hid it within their wall. This is the first geocache installed by the North Cornwall Ranger Team so grab your GPS, find the coordinates on www.geocaching.com and see if you can find what the volunteers have left behind…