Barrows Stile, the large sloping field that lies above Kelston Village, has had a varied past, changing in use from agricultural farmland, to quarry, to landfill, and back to farmland. In the last decade, a significant portion of the field was given over to the creation of new woodland, with over 5000 trees being planted on the slopes. One key area for improvement had always been the Southern boundary – a wire fence linking to neighbouring farm land.
On Tuesday 3rd March, we planted a new hedgerow of around 350 trees, which, once mature, will form a more solid boundary line, as well as acting as a corridor for nature to access the wooded areas higher up in the field. A further 50 trees were planted in a hedgerow adjacent to the Old Barn, providing screening for the hardstanding area used for storing spare building materials.
The new hedges contain a mix of tree species including hawthorn, privet, field maple, hazel and spindle, some of which will provide berries and nuts for the local wildlife.
We were very grateful to be joined by Chris and James, two volunteers from Keynsham who recognise the environmental importance of planting trees – both for the local wildlife and wider issues of climate change. They worked hard, alongside William, Antonio, Harriet and Dan from the Kelston Roundhill team, and between the team the 400 trees were planted in a under 4 hours. Our thanks also go to Avon Wildlife Trust who kindly donated the trees.
The start of March brings us to the end of the tree planting season, but we are already planning ahead to the 2020-21 season, with plans to plant further hedgerows around the edge of Barrows Stile. Spring and Summer 2020 will see a massive project to remove the plastic tree guards from the maturing trees within the plantation, allowing them to grow to their full potential. This forms part of a wider ecology strategy for Kelston Roundhill which will see further areas of land set aside for ecological purposes.
We are always keen to welcome volunteers who may not have space in their own gardens to plant trees but are keen to do their bit for their local environment.
Meanwhile, we look forward to seeing the new hedges grow and develop over the coming years.