In the eighteenth century, Many farmers & land owners were urged to grow more trees, the start of many of our newer woodlands. Quick growers such as Ash, an excellent hard wood for many farm appliances and one of the best timbers to burn as logs. Chestnut, a quick grower & when riven or split with the grain was & still is an excellent wood for fencing that requires no sort of treatment for its longevity. The effort & time put into planting new coppice wood soon reimbursed the land owner with extra income, which enabled longer standing timber, such as oak & beech to be planted, trees you can see growing today.
In the mid 18th century it was stated that, "Any piece of land, even the most barren, will bear trees... and the farmer will do well to plant on all such places; but he is not confined to them. He may take in a piece of barren ground, or he may use for this purpose such as has been tilled already, he need not grudge a tolerable soil, nor think much of the rent he pays, for if that be no more than its worth, the wood which is produced will not let him be a loser... When he has fixed upon his ground, if it be to be taken from the common, the first thing he is to do is to enclose it with a good fence, for nothing is so liable to accidents as a young plantation, nor is there any produce among which cattle will do so much harm... This expense of inclosure may appear at first sight a disadvantage, and the preference may be given to the plantation of trees, for shrowding or pollards, which yield a great deal of small wood, and need no inclosure, nor take up any ground, but an answer is given to this at once, by those who have experienced both, which is, that the quick growth of the coppice wood makes ample amends for the expence."
It was recommended that, when the ground was fenced in, it should be given two or three deep and good ploughings and if the area is not too great to dig it up with a spade... "in this last method the way is to trench it throughout two spit deep and cast the upper of the soil undermost. This will prepare and break the earth excelently, and it has been found by experiance, that in ground thus prepared, the trees shoot in a manner greatly superior to all that can be seen in any other way of preparing the earth for them"
Thorn hedge growing
Improvement of hedges 1
Improvement of hedges 2
Improvement of hedges 3
Improvement of hedges 4
Ancient tree forum Britains old trees. The Woodland Trust.
Ancient tree hunt Mapping a future for ancient trees. The Woodland Trust
''A proposal for the improvement of hedge fences" 1756
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