How to Rewild

Build Brash Piles

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Build Brash Piles

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Seasonality

What You Can Do

Many landowners have hedgerows or scrub on the edges of their land, and large areas of pasture or grassland with low structure in the middle. This action encourages the development of new scrub and trees, and/or provides refuges for birds and mammals within the grassland.

Dragging Brash

Brash is the name for the offcuts from hedges cutting and scrub management. This material is often burnt, but it can also be used to create structural diversity in a grassland. The brash is dragged to random points across the grassland and heaped into piles or laid across the ground. It may also be used to extend the edges of a hedge, fill in gaps, or create a more varied hedge structure.

Berries

If it’s autumn and there are still berries on the branches, these will fall into the grass and create new patches of scrub. In winter, after the berries have gone, it’s still worthwhile moving brash into the field, as this will create scrubby refuges which are home to small birds and mammals.

Deer Protection

In areas with high deer activity, brash can be useful for protecting trees. Piled up at the base of the trunk, it can protect young trees and coppice from bark damage. Dumped across grassland, it can allow regenerating trees and scrub to grow up in a sheltered and protected environment – like a tree tube, but not quite as effective after the first few years.

Example

On our project, these piles of scrub have been used regularly by wrens, robins and whitethroat as a way of safely crossing open grassland habitat. They’re a useful way of creating more structure in the pasture and disposing of hedge cuttings while returning organic matter to the soil. The deadwood will create new opportunities for biodiversity in years to come.

Rewilded hedge
Brash can be used to extend existing hedges outwards and add more variability to their structure, creating sunny niches and shady patches.

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