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Norwich residents restore 250-year-old hedgerow

PUBLISHED: 11:54 18 October 2013 | UPDATED: 11:54 18 October 2013

The Eaton Rise Residents Association which helped to restore the historic hedgerow

The Eaton Rise Residents Association which helped to restore the historic hedgerow

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A historic hedgerow in Norwich has been restored in a project conducted by residents of one of the city's streets.

The residents of Ipswich Road have been working closely with Norfolk County Council and Norwich City Council to restore the hedgerow and protect its wildlife value for the future.

The Eaton Rise Residents’ Association has been working hard for three years to repair and protect the 250-year-old hedgerow, which runs centrally between Constable Road and Ipswich Road, a project that has brought residents and local authorities together.

The county council has helped the local residents group with a
community conservation grant towards replanting hedgerow plants and by designating the 580m hedge line as a roadside nature reserve (RNR).

The city council and partners the Norwich Fringe Project and Norwich in Bloom have helped with roadside tree management, spring bulbs and ecological advice.

Ed Stocker, the county council ecologist, said: “The hard work of the Eaton Rise Residents’ Association will help bring bats, hedgehogs and nesting birds back into the city, by improving the wildlife corridor between the Danby Woods and Marston Marshes local nature reserves, allotments and the urban fringe.

“One section of the Ipswich road verge already contains the extremely rare sandy-stiltball fungi (Battarraea phalloides), and it may be possible to create the ideal growing conditions on this newly protected area.”

Kathleen Rowlands, of the residents association, said: “The hedge to us has become a legacy to the environment and future residents, and it, being an RNR, offers it some status and protection which we are all very happy about.”

Brian Watkins, county councillor for Eaton division, said local
people deserved a huge amount of credit for the progress that had been made.

“It’s great to see the residents’ association leading this work. There’s only so much the authorities can do without the help of people on the ground.

“The results show how worthwhile this work can be, and how important roadside verges can be to wildlife.”

The county council manages 110 RNRs across the county where verges with notable wild flowers or protected species are managed separately to the standard maintenance programme.

To find out where your nearest RNR is or if you have ideas for a community biodiversity project, contact edward.stocker@norfolk.gov.uk.

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