Council creates brand new wildlife habitat at Hastings Country Park

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A new hedgerow planted at Hastings Country park will provide an important corridor for wildlife says Hastings Borough Council.

Hastings Country Park Nature Reserve volunteers, estate rangers and the country park ranger have been working together to create the new hedgeline.

Cllr Warren Davies Hastings borough council’s lead member for the environment explained:

“The new wildlife corridor of hedge line has been planted in what was an extremely large open field as part of the long term plan for the country park.

“A mix of over 1,000 native hedging ‘whips’ have been planted by volunteers and rangers to support threatened birds like yellow hammer and linnet and other wildlife too.

“It will take a few years to fully establish but will offer shelter and an ideal habitat for wildlife in this exceptional area of countryside.

“Thanks must go to the volunteers for their ongoing commitment and support of the work in the country park, without their help important work like this would not be possible.”

The council came under fire earlier this year for its policy of removing gorse from the country park.

It is the yellow gorse which gives areas of the park its distinctive name of ‘The Fire Hills’

Objectors complained that the gorse, which grows naturally across the East Hill and Fairlight, provides cover and habitat for birds and its berries and seeds provide food for birds and mammals.

These claims were backed up by the RSPB, which, on its website, underlines the importance of gorse as an important habitat.

Resident Barry Lee said: “The works have included ripping out large areas of gorse and an established blackthorn hedge. These plants thrive in the salty sea air and the poor soil.

“The reason for this is to plant heather which is to be taken from Ashdown Forest. The gorse provided a very good windbreak from the sea winds which heather won’t provide.”

Cllr Warren Davies said: ““We are required to reduce the amount of gorse in areas of the country park as part of the Higher Level Countryside Stewardship Agreement.

“We will not removing all the gorse, but large sections have been removed. Our aim is to develop a more diverse coastal habitat.”

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