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As winter and summer battled it out last Friday (3rd May) alternating between the former throwing down bitingly-cold hail showers and the latter retaliating with bright warm sunshine, eight Achiltibuie P5-7s and three nursery children were also alternating between hurrying indoors and strolling back outside as they dodged the weather extremes for the sake of warm fingers and toes, and dry clothes!

The task at hand was hedgerow planting, offering a home to native tree, shrub and climbing species that provide a rich selection of nature’s finest fruits and berries. Rowan, dog rose, hawthorn, blackthorn, elder and crab apple were in the mix, and we took a closer look at the differences between these species before planting them zigzag style, with enough space to grow individually while being close enough to form a dense hedge together as they mature.

This is part of The Woodland Trust’s Hedgerow Jelly project, with schools across Scotland taking part, meaning that species-rich, nature friendly habitat is being simultaneously planted far and wide, that will provide food for wildlife and human mouths alike for future generations to come.

Today it was Lochinver Primary School’s turn to plant their hedgerow. As we headed outside to begin, with the sun streaming down on us, leisurely clouds drifting by, and a welcoming warmth touching our skin, it was evident which season had won last week’s argument!

Working together to plant hedgerow saplings © Scottish Wildlife Trust/Fiona Saywell
Achiltibuie pupils planting the saplings © Scottish Wildlife Trust/Fiona Saywell and Pre-school pupils watering the saplings © Scottish Wildlife Trust/Katrina Martin
A happy hawthorn sapling, planted and protected from hungry grazing animals! © Scottish Wildlife Trust/Katrina Martin
Lochinver pupils digging and watering @Scottish Wildlife Trust/Katrina Martin
Happy sunshine smiles with our furry friends who will be benefiting from all this hedgerow planting in a variety of different ways © Scottish Wildlife Trust/Katrina Martin

Katrina Martin

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