Letter: Let’s find better ways to manage the Island’s hedgerows

Steven Goodman shares his views on the “avoidable damage being done to our hedgerows”, businesses going plastic-free and those supporting farmers to recycle plastic waste.

hedgerow from the air

We always welcome a Letter to the Editor to share with our readers – unsurprisingly they don’t always reflect the views of this publication. If you have something you’d like to share, get in touch and of course, your considered comments are welcome below. This by Steven Goodman, Newport. Ed

I share Robert Drover’s concern (CP 12.1.2018) about the avoidable damage being done to our hedgerows and the consequent reduction of the values of both the visual amenity of our landscape and of the richness and usefulness of our local nature and our wildlife habitats.

Reducing, and ideally eliminating as soon as possible, the frequent mechanical flailing which routinely leaves ugly and unhealthy tearing and unhelpful gapping, and instead promoting investment in returning to the more valuable practice of properly laying hedges.

Although this might be more time consuming and apparently more expensive before all benefits are costed, it could also help to alleviate some of our other problems – like needing to attract more tourists and generally increase everyone’s healthy enjoyment of our outdoor environment, and the need to provide people with more opportunities for productive work and exercise.

Don’t ignore the warnings
At a time when even our governing party is now acknowledging our urgent need to get greener (give or take some of their contradictory continuing fondness for fracking and so on), and for the population to get fitter to reduce the rising demand on our collapsing health service, it would be sensible not to ignore any such valuable and often enjoyable opportunity to improve our increasingly desperate situation.

Further similar opportunities to improve are demonstrated by the good news created by those worthy business people responsible for actually taking action to reduce and eventually eliminate the stupidly harmful use of the polluting plastic which has now even become part of our foodchain; thank you Angela Groves (from Lady Scarlett’s Tea Parlour in Ventnor which is going plastic-free) and the others.

Recycling hub for plastic waste
Responding online to that report, Sue Symes said she runs a recycling hub for farmers plastic waste (Agri-Cycle IOW) and sends at least two 40ft lorry loads of compressed bales of farmers plastic a year to their Lincolnshire recycling centre to be recycled on site rather than exported, and that much more could be done if all large arable farmers took up this option of disposing of their plastic.

Campaigning to get more growers to grow Sue’s business obviously also makes sense and is something the media and Isle of Wight Conservative MP, Bob Seely, could probably help with, and supporting the businesses of Angela and others leading the way is something we can all help with.

I’m already one of those choosing to vote with my spending for more of this, and I’m grateful to those like Angela who are making it easy for us to do so.

Image: jidanchaomian under CC BY 2.0

Thursday, 18th January, 2018 4:04pm


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Filed under: Environment, Island-wide, Letter to the Editor

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2 Comments on "Letter: Let’s find better ways to manage the Island’s hedgerows"

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I do not believe it
I too abhor the state of some of the island’s hedgerows after they have been mutilated by brutal flailing machines. One particular aspect of these machines that irks me is their complete inability to trim back branches and stems which are close to poles caring power and telephone lines. Is it unreasonable to expect tractor drivers to dismount and lop the clumps of vegetation missed by their… Read more »

Well, so long as you’re prepared to pay for the hedgecutting I’m sure you’ll be able to commission a beautiful finish to the hedges.

You don’t mind paying to do something that has no commercial value to a private landowner, do you?