It is often necessary to take a backward step to enable a move forward and this is the case with the hedge boundary at BARC. Last winter particularly, the hedge suffered from the elements, with incidences of trees and hedging falling into the road and onto our safety fencing, creating a traffic problem and potential danger to athletes. The fencing within the hedging was also in need of urgent attention. We had initially thought that the hedge could be maintained by coppicing but an inspection by the Woodland Trust confirmed that a significant stretch of hedge was dead.
With the support of club volunteers, the Community Payback Team and professional contractors, the old hedging, fencing and stumps of dead trees have been removed. Every viable tree has been left in situ. Undoubtedly, this has made the boundary look open and barren. We are replacing both the hedge and the fencing and work is well underway. We will seek advice and support from the Woodland Trust, who are kindly providing the mixed native hedging.
New fencing is being erected so as not to disturb the roots of the new hedging and planting of the new hedge will follow in the Spring before the growing season starts.
We recently met with Ditchingham Parish Council and proposed a new pathway, running parallel to the new training ground boundary because of the danger to pedestrians. There was agreement to this and Ditchingham Parish Council are investigating further with Norfolk County Council. The club has offered to donate a strip of land for a pathway to the parish. The fencing works have taken into consideration this possible outcome, which will be a great benefit to those that use Pirnhow Street.
The club are very grateful to The Woodland Trust and Bungay Medical Centre Trust for their donations towards the improvements.