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22nd March 2024

Innovative trial to reduce plastic use on the Englefield Estate begins

An innovative trial to reduce plastic use on the Estate is being carried out. 

Forestry Manager, Richard Edwards and his team are trialling the use of a range of different bio-degradable hedge guards, made from sugarcane, corn and starch, when planting new hedgerow.

The guards, which are used to protect saplings from rabbits and hare browsing, will be monitored to see how they compare to the plastic alternative. The team will be checking the long-term structure of the guards, how successfully they preserve the plants from damage and if they help successful hedgerow growth.

Richard explained: “This will be an important step for the Estate’s sustainability mission, if successful. Hedge guards can stay in place for up to 3 to 5-years, so when it’s time to collect them, the hedgerow is matured, head-high and often has brambles within, so guards are therefore difficult to retrieve.

“Not only are the bio-degradable hedge guards better for the environment, the time saved from not having to collect the guards can be better used by the Team on other projects that benefit the environment."