16 January 2023

Hedgelaying – vital for the conservation of our wildlife and landscapes

Work has recently commenced on a long-term project to transform Woodhall Farm, a property on the Gascoyne Estate, into an environmental haven to provide a safe and attractive habitat for wildlife now and for future generations.

Starting with the perimeter, Ollie Hauxwell, Rural Estate Manager, commissioned local specialist tradesmen skilled in the traditional art of Hedgelaying to transform the existing tall, sparse and unkempt hedgerow into a spectacle of natural beauty.

Hedgelaying is a country craft which has been practised for hundreds of years. Retaining the existing hedgerow, trunks are woven through natural upright stakes in the ground to provide an important barrier, vital for wildlife to use as a refuge, a source of food, and a way to move safely through the landscape.


Gascoyne Estates have consulted with the Herts and Middlesex Wildlife Trust, Natural England and the Environment Agency on this important project and are considering opportunities for further environmental enhancements through the concept of Biodiversity Net Gain (BNG). This is a groundbreaking new initiative designed to unlock sustainable property development and restore nature. The scheme gives developers a simple, risk-free way to implement BNG alongside landowners with the opportunity to diversify their business.

“At Gascoyne we’re passionate about the countryside, biodiversity and the correct management of our hedgerows. Woodhall Farm will be transformed over the course of the following years and I’m looking forward to seeing the next stages of the project come to life, in particular the flowering grasslands. It will become something that we and the local communities can be proud of”

Ollie Hauxwell

Hedgelaying – vital for the conservation of our wildlife and landscapes - Hatfield Park