© Sparrowhawk Accipiter nicus on post calling Potton Bedfordshire. | Credit: Andrew Darrington / Alamy Stock Photo

The hedge

THE HEDGE

At one time, hedges were regularly cut and the wood used for building or heating with bundles of sticks. Today, with no commercial prospects, hedges have lost their value. Yet hedges serve multiple purposes and reveal numerous secrets to those who want to observe them.

Woodland Hawthorn

(Crateagus laevigata)

This is a 2 or 3 metre high shrub which blossoms white flowers at the beginning of May. The green berries turn red from July to November. An important source of food and shelter for birds, it can also be used to control blood pressure, to graft pear trees or for tools given the wood is hard and homogenous.

 

Comfrey

(Symphytum officinale) 

This herbaceous plant flowers in the month of May. Like the Hawthorn, this is a melliferous plant favoured by pollinating insects. As a medicinal plant, it is also possible to make a liquid with its leaves, being rich in potassium.

Eurasian Sparrowhawk

(Accipiter nisus)

This small bird of prey the size of a pigeon flies like a rocket. It is capable of surprising many small mammals such as the field mouse and shrew.  Don’t move! Take time to wait, it is there!

 

 

Song Thrush

(Turdus philomelos)

The size of a blackbird, the song of this thrush can be heard more than a kilometre away. This species loves snails, which they always break using the same stone. Numerous seeds are spread by the Song Thrush thanks to its varied diet.

A new hedge

As an initiative of the county of La Manche, the municipality of Regnéville and a local farmer, a hedge was planted at the end of the winter in 2021. The chosen plants are all representative of existing hedges in the area and should quickly blend in with the existing vegetation.

 

> How many bundles of wood sticks were used by the baker every year to bake his bread ?
Answer : A baker used to use about 1 000 bundles of wood sticks per year.