Kerdroya: Cornish Hedge Community Heritage Project
Throughout 2019 and 2020, Golden Tree Productions are pleased to be partnering with the Cornwall Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) on our ‘Kerdroya: Cornish Hedge Community Heritage Project’. Marking the Diamond Jubilee of the Cornwall AONB and funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund, the project will work with communities and partners in 12 AONB sections across Cornwall to celebrate one of the most special aspects of what makes our landscape so unique – the humble Cornish hedge.
The humble Cornish hedge
Of all the human-created features of our landscape, First Prize for impact, beauty and function (as well as geological, ecological and cultural significance) goes to the Cornish hedge. Claimed to be amongst the oldest human-built structures in the world still in use for their original purpose, some hedges are perhaps more than 4,000 years old. With locally distinctive building styles celebrating the micro-geology of place, our hedges create the characteristic field-patterns of the Cornish landscape. There are about 30,000 miles of hedge across Cornwall today: vital nature reserves, linking corridors that connect all 12 AONBs with each other and through time with their pre-farming species range. With the recent near-catastrophic decrease in pollinators, hedges’ function as reservoir for tens of thousands of species of insect (plus 600 species of flowering plants) is of critical importance.
Community engagement and hedge restoration
In partnership with the Cornwall AONB Partnership, National Trust, Pigshill & Clarrick Woods CIC, South West Water and other landowners the project will identify 12 stretches of Cornish hedge in iconic locations, each in need of conservation and repair.
Local master hedgers will work with community groups and schools between April and November 2019, passing on knowledge and skills to create a diverse team of ‘Hedge Stewards’. After 11 hedges have been restored and rebuilt in the local style, they will comprise a Cornwall-wide trail culminating at Colliford Lake on Bodmin Moor in November 2020. This final site will take the form of a classical labyrinth built from traditional Cornish hedging, drawing from the different vernacular styles across the rest of Cornwall.
Our project is designed with and for our local communities to deliver increased use, enjoyment and appreciation of the outstanding landscapes of Cornwall to improve the health and wellbeing of local people and visitors.
Next steps and how you can get involved
We are keen to hear from anyone interested in getting involved in learning about Cornish hedges or in helping us to restore one of the sections. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.