Towards Carter Lane

Lane to Church WarsopThe bank running through the field to the north is the only remains of a hedge that originally extended north beyond the road. Now called Carter Lane, the road itself did not exist until long after the hedge. Perhaps this boundary had some ancient importance as a marker to people of that time, or was the edge of a medieval field. Further research might show us what its role was. The bank may indicate that the hedge was originally planted on it, though that would have been long before the Enclosure Acts that divided up most of Britain from the 1700s onwards, or maybe it was created by centuries of ploughing that would have pushed the soil away from the headland beside the hedge. Today, all traces of the hedge have disappeared because of the fires that occur regularly on the well-drained sandy soil here.

CelandinesThe hedges that do remain along the Church Warsop path are different in structure to those found elsewhere in the area, but are probably just as old. Here they are often thin and straggly, containing more rough grasses, with bracken trying to take over long sections. Scattered Bluebell and Celandine may be found during spring.

Carter Lane started life as a field track, became a lane and later a road. As it grew, adjacent hedges were moved apart. Most of the current roadside hedges are less than 50 years old. With only one or two woody species, these are poor relations compared to the hedges elsewhere. It will take centuries of growth and good management before they are of equal value for wildlife as those nearby.