Hedges and Field Boundaries
The park was farmland until nearly a century ago, so many of the hedges may have been there for hundreds of years.
A map of Hillhouse Farm dated 1722 shows clearly the field patterns in the early eighteenth century. Those fields are unchanged and are still recognisable on the ground today, with the field boundaries clear in some parts of the park, marked by the lines of old oak trees.
There is an oak tree on each of the two islands in the lake and these mark the intersection of tythe boundaries
There are in excerss of a kilometre of hedgerows in the park.and in 2019 the Friends plantred a new hedgerow adjacent to the path by the wood. hedgerows are very important for insects and birds, providing cover and in the spring tyhe blosson providing food for insects
Flowering in March and early April, blackthorn bushes are covered in clouds of snow-white flowers .In autumn, they produce small dark purple fruits which are used to make sloe gin.
Brambles have long, thorny and arching stems which often grow up to two metres or more long. Clusters of white or pink flowers appear in late spring to early summer, followed by blackberries in autumn. There are many superstitions around brambles including the warning that they should not be picked after Michaelmas Day in October, as the Devil will have made them bitter.
Another name is May, after the month in which it flowers. The leaves often appear before the pale-pink blossom, which attracts many insects and birds. Small red berries (haws) appear in autumn, which birds enjoy before winter.To find out more, click on each of the names below for more information
Other hedgerow plants found in Laker Meadows
Buckthorn, Dogwood, Field maple, Guelder rose, Hazel