Saturday 26th March saw one Norwich community come together to have a Whip Planting Ceremony to celebrate phase 1 of the conservation of a hedgerow that is at least 200 years old. The gathering was also to highlight the RHS Britain in Bloom launch. The Lord Mayor of Norwich even turned up to help the celebrations.
So, you may be saying, who cares about some hedge in Norwich, but it is being recognised as a valuable asset to Ipswich Road as it creates an attractive gateway to Eaton Rise. It can help to reduce noise and pollution from the busy Ipswich Road and because of its size and length it provides a vital wildlife corridor for birds, bats and other wildlife.
Norwich City council has maintained the hedge over the years, but there has been a significant loss of trees and the hedgerow plants due to bad weather and for safety reasons. With encouragement and guidance of City Council officers, Eaton Rise Residents Association launched a hedge appeal at their Annual General Meeting in May 2010. They have since been awarded a Community Grant and have raised funds by way of donations from residents.
Since January 2011 volunteer residents have cleared ivy and debris from the hedge, and have cut back overgrown plants. They have successfully planted over 600 native hedgerow plants, which was carried out in all weathers to ensure the job was done! Norwich City Council also planted 8 new oak trees to replace those lost over the years.
Britain in Bloom and RHS recently joined forces with the Woodland Trust as part of their Community Campaign Launch and have given away 420 whips in the campaign sponsored by Anglian Home Improvements.