Tower Hamlets Homes has completed the restoration of the mixed native hedge along the eastern boundary of Matilda House.
When this was first attempted in early 2015, many of the existing trees were left standing, and only those under 75 millimetres girth at chest height were coppiced, to avoid the need for Conservation Area consent. However, this left too much shade and competition for water, and establishment of the whips that were planted was very poor. So this year, the decision was made to secure Conservation Area consent to coppice most of the existing trees along the fence. This will provide far better conditions for the latest batch of whips to grow (see photo left). A few of the best Field Maples have been left to become emergent trees in the hedge.
The coppicing was done in early November, followed by planting of mixed native whips (see header photo) obtained from the Woodland Trust’s free tree scheme. Fingers are now crossed that these will establish and grown, and that, along with the regrowth from the coppiced trees, a good, dense hedge will result over the next few years.
Tower Hamlets Homes have been doing more for wildlife on their estates this autumn. Six more annual wildflower patches have been created, and many of the ones created in the last two years have been replanted. There are now over 50 of these colourful patches providing nectar for bees and other pollinators across Tower Hamlets Homes’ estates. In addition, three areas of lawn, at Apsley House, Gatwick House and Hutton House, totalling 750 square metres, have been planted with pollinator-friendly bulb mixes to provide even more colour and nectar. Finally, bat boxes have been installed on trees around Hilliard House in Wapping (see photo left), where bats have been seen regularly.
Photos by Veronica Suwara