A group of Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Authority trainees were recently put through their paces by educational charity Coppicewood College, as they gained first-hand experience of a range of sustainable woodland management skills.
The five Pembrokeshire Coast National Park trainees were tasked with laying around 100 metres of hedge with hand tools at a picnic site with views across the Millpond to Carew Castle. The training was part of the Skills in Action project, which is funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund’s Skills for the Future grant.
Skills in Action Project Co-ordinator for Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Authority, Tom Iggleden, said: “This was a valuable opportunity for the trainees to learn some traditional skills, while at the same time helping to manage this popular picnic site.
“A big thank you goes to the local farmer, Mr Cadogan, for allowing us to complete this work and to Richard Hughes and the South Warden Team for overseeing the job and helping to tidy up the site once the work was finished.
“The hedge was originally planted by volunteers working with the National Park Authority around ten years ago and the work completed by the trainees will help conserve the hedge for years to come.”
Hedgelaying is a traditional method of maintaining a hedge to create a secure boundary – in the past it would have been used to keep livestock in or out, but it is also an excellent way of extending the life of a hedge.
By cutting plants at the bottom and creating a fence-like structure using living, laid branches, it encourages new growth and provides food sources and shelter for a range of insects, birds and mammals.
Carew Castle and Tidal Mill is run as a visitor attraction by the National Park Authority. For more information visit www.carewcastle.com