Treasure our hedges

I’ve been meaning to write for weeks about the importance of hedges in urban and suburban areas. What set me thinking was walking along Connaught Road one Sunday morning. I turned the corner from Bayham Road and I was taken aback by the sudden and quite loud sound of birds. You cannot miss their noise but it’s actually quite hard to see them because they are safely hidden in the evergreen (mostly privet) hedges that line much of this road. I suspect the birds are mostly sparrows which are a chatty, sociable bird. We sometimes get gangs of sparrows in our back garden but not at this time of year – at least, not any longer.

The many hedges in Connaught Rd are the key to its popularity with birds. The hedges offer a safe home and hiding place. if you walk along the nearby streets you do not hear many if any birds and I think that has to be the lack of hedges.

Other examples of hedges that are popular with birds can be seen and heard if you walk along the path at the rear of Dean Gardens. As you near the trees and hedges at the Northfield Avenue end you suddenly start to hear the birds. The same is true if you walk down Northfield Ave alongside the allotments (see photo) you can hear the hedges are full of birds.

It’s such a pleasure to hear the sound of birds, especially now during lockdown. Their noisy chatter reminds us that there is life going on as normal and one day soon we can enjoy again what we all took for granted.

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