Hedge Planting on Kinclune
Agroecology on Kinclune
Today we had help from the RSPB and other volunteers to plant the first 300m of our new native hedge on Kinclune Estate. We practice agroecology and nature-friendly farming, integrating environmental principles into the management of our 800 acre hill farm on the edge of Angus Glens.
The hedges will sequester carbon and offer sanctuary and sustenance for wildlife. And, in a few years’ time, they’ll offer life-saving shelter for our cows and newborn calves at calving time (April – May). Over the past 15 years we've planted kilometres of hedges, so we know just how beneficial they can be for wildlife, providing habitat and feeding opportunities for many invertebrates, birds and mammals, including various finches and tits, yellowhammer, voles, hedgehogs, red squirrel, brown long-eared bats, soprano and common pipistrelle bats.
This new kilometre-long hedge, part funded by Scottish Government Agri Environment and Climate Change Scheme, will create a wildlife corridor connecting the duck pond and the wooded gulley behind our steading. It will comprise a variety of native species, including blackthorn, hawthorn, holly, dog rose and hazel. It is fenced on both sides to keep livestock and rabbits out and we used a weed layer to help the tiny hedge plants compete with grass and other plants. We’re organic so we won’t use chemical weed killers, which are harmful for water sources and plant diversity, as well as human and animal health. Plant diversity is a good thing and cattle and ponies enjoy browsing hedges too.
With the help of our volunteers, we’ve planted about 300m today. We’ve still got 700m to go and we are seeking volunteers to help us get it finished! Follow us on Facebook to keep updated on our next volunteers day.
Kinclune Estate was awarded the Nature of Scotland Food and Farming Award in 2021 for integrating nature into our farm management. Aylwin, formerly an environmental law lecturer with a PhD in sustainable land ownership, sits on the Scottish steering group of the Nature Friendly Farming Network.