Are you ready to live #LifeOnTheHedge?

Want a career in nature but don’t know where to start? The Life On The Hedge podcast is for you.    

 

Hedgerows are amazing! They’re the largest wildlife habitat we have in the UK and their carbon-guzzling, pollution-absorbing, wildlife-sheltering powers make them a crucial part of the solution to the environmental challenges we’re facing. It’s time to get to know these hidden heroes and find out how you can get involved, with the Life On The Hedge podcast. 

In each episode, you’ll hear from an amazing young person at the beginning of a blossoming career in nature as they explore the magic of hedgerows and the ever-growing world of green jobs. We head outside to show you what it’s like to plant trees, cultivate native species, lay hedges, work with farmers and volunteers and discover the wildlife that depends upon our hedges. You’ll get the inside scoop on how they got started in their roles and we’ve got loads of handy links and resources available to help you start out on your own journey.

Check out the Life On The Hedge podcast trailer!

Listen now on your favourite podcast app or via the players below:

 

 

 

Episode 1: Giving wildlife a helping hand

 
Life On The Hedge: Episode 1

In the first episode of this series, we find out how hedgerows are helping farmers protect an abundance of wildlife, from birds to bumble bees, butterflies and fungi, in Herefordshire.

Katie Morgans invites us to Turnastone Court Farm along the banks of the River Dore. Katie always wanted to work with animals, but followed her nose to a placement here, which sees her working with tenant farmers and helping out on wildlife surveys.

Ruth Moss, a Wildlife Monitoring Officer at The Countryside Restoration Trust, takes us on a windswept bird survey to identify some of the species sheltering and feeding in the hedgerows here in the Golden Valley.

We also hear from Jonathan Drori, author of Around the World in 80 Plants, about his passion for trees and plants and why being curious is paramount to success.

Found this episode interesting? We hope it’s inspired you. Share it with a friend and give us a shout out on social media with the hashtag #LifeOnTheHedge. 

   
   
  • If you’re interested in Wildlife Monitoring or Ecology as a career, check out this helpful page on the Prospects website. It details routes into work, role responsibilities and salary advice.
 
  • Volunteering is great way to gain experience in this field. Why not get in touch with your local wildlife charity to see if they have any volunteering positions available? Conservationjobs.co.uk and Environmentjob.co.uk list volunteering opportunities at home and abroad. You can also go on courses to learn new skills, there are many providers out there including The Field Studies Council.
 
  • Interested in how hedges support wildlife and biodiversity? Head to Hedgelink.org to find out more. People’s Trust for Endangered Species have also created this handy leaflet on the benefits of hedgerows on farms.

 

Episode 2: Growing a greener future

 

Life On The Hedge: Episode 2

In this episode, horticulture trainee Paula Ilut tells us why she’s passionate about preserving our future landscapes with tree planting.

We head to Moor Trees in Devon where Paula joins Darryl Beck, a Tree Nursery Officer, to discuss their mission to restore the native woodland of Dartmoor and South Devon and to cultivate new woodland and hedgerows from tens of thousands of local seeds.

We’ll join them as they plant out the Guelder rose seedings Darryl’s been tending and find out how community gathering schemes and plant nurseries are helping create a resilient Dartmoor where wildlife and people can thrive in the future.

Mollie Higginson, NewLeaf Sales Representative and Co-Founder at the Young People in Horticulture Association, shares her top tips on how to make it in the world of horticulture.

 

Found this episode interesting? We hope it’s inspired you. Share it with a friend and give us a shout out on social media with the hashtag #LifeOnTheHedge.

 

  • Darryl Beck – Tree Nursery Officer at Moor Trees
 
  • Paula Ilut – Horticulturist Trainee at Moor Trees
 
  • Daryll and Paula work for Moor Trees, a charity on a mission to restore native woodland on Dartmoor and in South Devon.
     
  • Interested in gathering seeds and growing your own hedge trees? Head to The Tree Council’s YouTube channel where the team at Moor Trees have produced some excellent videos on this very topic!
 
  • If you fancy having a go at planting your own hedge, this handy step-by-step guide is a great place to start. For lots more information and advice related to hedgerows, go to hedgelink.org.uk.

 

Episode 3: Secrets of the city

 
Life On The Hedge Episode 3

You might be surprised just about how biodiverse our urban environments can be. But hedgerows can play a huge part in keeping our towns and cities bursting with wildlife, whilst helping our physical and mental health too.

This time we meet young people working with London Wildlife Trust in the UK’s leafy capital city. Bobbi Benjamin-Wand invites us to Norwood Park in South London, home to 30 types of trees as well as diverse wildlife. Find out about the history of the Great North Wood which once stretched across a vast area and today lives on in the parks, gardens, cemeteries and railway embankments here!

Bobbi’s job is to help young people get out and engage with the wonderful wild spaces that exist in our capital city. She introduces us to Chantelle Lindsay, a Wildlife Project Officer and Max Lawson, the Assistant Project Officer, as they lead a team of volunteers to work on a hedgerow they’ve planted around one of the park’s recreation areas.

We’re also joined by Cheryl Duerden, a forester and arborist, who talks to us about her journey into conservation and the world of trees.

Found this episode interesting? We hope it’s inspired you. Share it with a friend and give us a shout out on social media with the hashtag #LifeOnTheHedge. 

 

     
   
  • If you’re interested in a career in nature conservation, check out this helpful page on the Prospects website. Conservation Careers is another useful resource, providing career advice and listing job and volunteering opportunities.
 
  • Nature conservation is a fulfilling but competitive career choice. Gaining experience is paramount and volunteering is a great way to do this. You can take Max’s advice and join a Wildlife Trusts volunteer event or have a look to see if there are any suitable paid traineeships in your area.
 
  • Check out Hedgelink for information on the numerous benefits hedgerows provide in urban and rural areas. Want to have a go at planting your own hedge? This handy step-by-step guide is a great place to start. And don’t forget to check out our Top Ten Tips for a healthy hedge!

 

Episode 4: How to build a landscape

 
Life On The Hedge: Episode 4

In this episode we meet Sasha Georgiades, a trainee with the Devon Rural Skills Trust. She’s spent the last four years learning how to become a hedgelayer and invites us to work with her in Ipplepen, near Newton Abbot.

Sasha teams up with Chris Stanton, an instructor, and fellow trainee Joseph Open for some hands-on hedgelaying! We find out what exactly hedgelaying is, whilst they discuss the importance of encouraging young LGBTQ people – and those identifying as women – to consider rural careers.

We also hear from Megan Gimber from the People’s Trust for Endangered Species on the history, culture and importance of hedgerows in our landscapes.

Found this episode interesting? We hope it’s inspired you. Share it with a friend and give us a shout out on social media with the hashtag #LifeOnTheHedge. 

 

     
  • Sasha and Joseph are currently on the Devon Rural Skills Trust training scheme, who also run weekend courses for those wanting to try out hedgelaying.
 
  • There are many organisations who run similar schemes and courses, which is a great way to explore whether hedgelaying is for you! The Rural Skills Hub currently has funded training opportunities for those looking to pursue a career in this area and the National Hedgelaying Society is a great resource for anyone interested in finding out more about this traditional countryside skill.
 
  • Fancy yourself as a hedgelayer? Hedgelink.org is great place to start, packed with hedgy related resources and advice.
   
  • You may also be interested in these HedgeTalk webinars hosted by The Tree Council as part of National Hedgerow Week 2021.

 

Episode 5: Cultural cultivation

 
Life On The Hedge: Episode 5

Today we’re off to Penpont in the Brecon Beacons as 30 young volunteers and future conservationists undertake a mission to plant 3,000 trees in a day, restoring a degraded hedgerow.

Forrest Hogg invites us to his family estate where farms, tenanted communities, makers, growers and eco-tourism businesses meet within a vibrant cultural scene.

Samuel Harpur, National Park Warden, also grew up locally. He and Forrest chat about why it matters more than ever to cultivate biodiversity and restore sustainable landscapes. Sam shares insights into day-to-day life as a National Park Warden and Molly Singleton from Action for Conservation explains why it’s so important for young people to pursue all the fantastic opportunities on offer to work with trees and the environment.

And we meet some of the inspiring young volunteers getting hands on planting hedges along the foot of the beautiful beacons.

We also hear from Sophie Pavelle, zoologist and author, on her upcoming new book and what advice she has for young people wanting to make the leap into nature conservation.

Found this episode interesting? We hope it’s inspired you. Share it with a friend and give us a shout out on social media with the hashtag #LifeOnTheHedge. 

 

Episode 6: Creating and protecting our future forests

 
Life On The Hedge Podcast: Episode 6

In the final episode of our series we head to Glentress Forest, just south of Edinburgh, to meet Emma Bryden, a member of Scotland’s Young People’s Forest Project.

Emma is part of an ambitious scheme where 13 young Scots are co-designing a forest for the future, right here in Scotland. She’s joined by Forest Industries Advisor Ros Wardman for a walk about the Glentress landscape. They delve into the social and historical importance of hedgerows, woodland and forests, why commercial timber has a role in our future, and how trees can help us solve the climate crisis.

We’re also joined by Dr. Chris Thorogood, from the University of Oxford Botanic Garden & Arboretum. He shares his passion for plants and trees, talks us through what he gets up to day to day and gives us his take on how to break into a career in the Green Sector.

Found this episode interesting? We hope it’s inspired you. Share it with a friend and give us a shout out on social media with the hashtag #LifeOnTheHedge. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

THANK YOU

A huge thank you to the partners who made this series possible. The Tree Council created Life on the Hedge as part of the Close the Gap programme, funded by the Government’s Green Recovery Challenge Fund. The fund was developed by Defra and is being delivered by the National Lottery Heritage Fund in partnership with Natural England and the Environment Agency.