The West Meadow Watlington hedgerow rejuvenation project caused quite a stir. Not least among the branches, boughs, limbs, twigs, leaves, sticks, buds, and barky bits of the hedgerow itself, as well among its various residents, tenants, lessees, and freeholders. The wildlife, one imagines on that fateful morning, 11 December 2021, were hopping mad, as well as flying mad, crawling mad, slithering mad, and generally skittering about distracted mad. What a wake-up call they’d had. I suspect there was a tense atmosphere in the biosphere that day. I had known nothing about the hedgerow project. At first glance, on my morning walk, I thought it was vandalism. Of course, I soon realised I was wrong. This was conservation. I’d got hold of the wrong end of the stick. Mind you, there were lots of sticks to get hold of. I wondered what school children, especially the very young, would say on seeing what the adults had done. I wondered what the plants felt. What noise did they make as they broke? I tried to imagine the sound effects. first in charcoal, then in pencil, then in an oil sketch, finally in a painting. But the whole enterprise turned out happily. I now feel huge gratitude and respect towards the many volunteers who contributed knowledge, expertise, muscle, and goodwill to the project. Cinnamon buns all round. The meadow is mightily improved. Watlington has benefitted. Everything is looking fine, or as my friend from the north says, ‘reet gradely’.
Opening Dates and Times