Managing Blackthorn Hedge

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There is a butterfly called the brown hairstreak, which used to be widely distributed, but has declined to low levels nationally.  The eggs of the brown hairstreak are laid on young growth of the blackthorn (sloe) tree.  In former times hedges would be managed by being "laid" every few years.  In modern times they get trimmed with a flail cutter on the back of a tractor.  This removes pretty much all the brown hairstreak eggs.

Year by year we are chopping the tops off successive sections of our big blackthorn hedge to generate new growth and make a suitable habitat for the brown hairstreak.  We don't have any yet but we live in hope!

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