Environmental Group digs deep for wildlife feast


Volunteers from Worcester Environmental Group, Worcester City Council Conservation Team and Nunnery Wood High School Eco Club have been braving the cold this week. They have taken on the daunting task of digging over a thousand holes in which to plant an edible hedge for wildlife, in Aconbury Orchard.

Thanks to a grant from Councillor Andy Roberts from his Worcestershire County Council Divisional Fund, the group has taken delivery of the following impressive shopping list, supplied by the Woodland Trust:  50 oaks, 125 blackthorns, 75 crab apples, 75 dogwoods, 75 dog roses, 125 field maples, 600 quick thorns and 125 hazels.

Cllr Andy Roberts says: "The fantastic work which the Worcester Environmental Group are undertaking has really caught the imagination of local residents. I'm delighted to be able to support the effort to plant more trees in Worcester, which will benefit wildlife and help to reduce the city's C02 emissions."

W.E.G. founder Paul Snookes believes the new hedgerow will bring enormous benefits to local wildlife. "As well as creating a rich source of food for birds, mammals, amphibians and insects, it's going to provide them with both a home and a really beneficial wildlife corridor.

"It won't just be wildlife which benefits. We'll be able to forage for hazelnuts, rose hips and sloe berries, while making sure we leave plenty for our beleaguered wildlife. It will improve the environment by capturing carbon, reducing flooding and cutting air pollution and it will also simply make the place look nicer, which helps with our mental health."

Paul says this will help with the current move to "re-wilding", which is already having a positive impact. "There's a hedge near the hospital which hasn't been cut back at the beginning of the winter and I'm now seeing birds, which have come from as far away as Scandinavia, feast on the berries there. I would urge everybody with a garden to let their hedges grow during the winter."

WEG, in conjunction with Onside - a mental health charity, is putting forward proposals for a lot more edible hedges and fruit trees to be planted along a 12 mile wildlife corridor around Worcester that will be a huge boost for nature and our mental and physical health. 

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