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Rikki's Winter


During the winter of 2012 Rikki Seddon, a student at Sparsholt College, Hampshire, joined a number of tasks organised by The Conservation Volunteers and CROW. The following are a selection of the photo's Rikki took during that time.

Volunteers arriving for task

Saturday, 14th January 2012 - Bugs Bottom, Gravel Hill, Emmer Green - Hedgelaying

Volunteers from CROW join those from The Conservation Volunteers to continue laying the hedge at Bugs Bottom on a cold and frosty morning.

Hedge to be laid

Laid hedge

Volunteer staking hedge

Volunteers selecting binders

Completed section of hedge

Stack of brash ready for burning

Wednesday, 1st February 2012 - Bugs Bottom, Gravel Hill, Emmer Green - Hedgelaying


Another cold day as John tells of the one that got away, a story Phil and Dave have evidently heard before.

Laying stem

Cutting stem with billhook for waeving into hedge

Protected coppice stools

Saturday, 11th February 2012 - Furze Platt, Emmer Green - Coppice protection

The Conservation Volunteers task. This was a last minute change of task because of the icy weather.

Without protection the new growth on coppiced hazel stools would be nibbled by deer damaging the re-growth and potentially killing the stools.

Coppice plot

Our thanks to Rikki for providing these photo's, we wish you all the best with your studies.


Wednesday, 22nd February 2012 - Kings Meadow - Harvesting willow

Willow stool

Bundled willow

Task over, volunteers prepare to leave

Job done, lets go!

Demonstration of binding laid hedge

Sunday, 26th February 2012 - Bugs Bottom, Gravel Hill, Emmer Green - Hedgelaying

A rather belated training day with Clive Leeke, a local hedgelayer.

Volunteers practice binding

Completed hedge

Volunteers chat at end of day

Coppice plot

Wednesday, 29th February 2012 - Rushall Farm, Bradfield - Coppicing and layering

Ring barking

Standing dead wood is an important part of any woodland if biodiversity is to be maintained, and if it does not occur naturally why not create your own?

Layering to propogate more hazel stools

Use of the billhook has been noted!

Stem cut for layering

Tree stump

Laying hedge

Wednesday, 7th March 2012 - Bugs Bottom, Gravel Hill, Emmer Green - Hedgelaying

Laying hedge

Staking laid hedge

Litter picking

Saturday, 10th March 2012 - Kings Meadow - Litter picking

Again volunteers from CROW join those from The Conservation Volunteers this time litter picking at Kings Meadow as part of Reading Borough Council's annual RESCUE event (Rivers & Environment Spaces Clean Up Event).

Bottles for recycling

Volunteers set off to work

Wednesday, 14th March 2012 - Padworth Common - Clearing fence line

Padworth Common sign

Cutting back gorse and willow

Removing barbed wire

Barbed wire which was part of the original fence and had been hidden by the gorse, had to be removed

Rolling up barbed wire


Wednesday, 28th March 2012 - Maiden Erlegh - Hedgelaying

On this occasion the hedge was in a far more urban setting.

Coppicing hawthorn

Wednesday, 4th April 2012 - The Cowsey, Whitley - Glade creation

Coppicing hawthorn

Volunteers prepare to start task

Wednesday, 11th April 2012 - Bugs Bottom, Gravel Hill, Emmer Green - Hedgelaying

The final hedgelaying task for this winter; from the state of the volunteer wearing the yellow hard hat that's probably just as well.


Laid stems

Preparing binders

As this was to be the last work on the hedge until autumn, we concentrated on completing the staking and binding.

Completed hedge with blackthorn in blossom.

Blooming blackthorn!