by Samuel Crosby

call on your leaders
preserve the thorn green fringes
of Britain’s excess


Fighting back from the fringes

“Beautiful” I’ll say
Looking out across patchwork fields
British hills
Sucking in lungfuls like I’m in the attic smelling my childhood
And he makes a face like he’s seen a spider over my shoulder
And says
“It’s not”
And I deflate
Step down the creaking ladder into bleak reality

Because he’s right
About the melt-gold corn
Sheep-wool white
The braying and the mooing in the farm at night
It’s flawed
Manicured
Agriculture
Homogenous
Repetitive
Eco-diversity full strained for humanity
Collapsing
For easy pickings
For cheap meat

How can we call our countryside beautiful when we know the damage it hides?
We’re animals among animals
Constructing the cage and calling it comfort
My heart is sad
I am ashamed

At least the lines between remain
Woody wonders
Lifelines
Hedgerows
Thriving
Spilling over with minibeast thrum
Under the deft touch of stewardship
Unflayed
Uncut

There is hope in the borders
Micro wildernesses fighting back
And worth the fight
If not for nostalgia’s sake of a wilder time
Then for the climate
Call on your leaders when you see blackthorn shrapnel
Raise the alarm when the mechanised hatchets come
Sing the song of the thorn green fringes
Lobby for protection, preservation, planting
Of our countryside hedgerows
And we’ll breathe “Beautiful” back into the hills


Read Beverley Moore’s 26 Habitats hedgerows centena and essay.

Read Francesca Baker’s 26 Habitats hedgerows centena and essay.

2 thoughts on “Hedgerows

  1. An impassioned plea for hedgerows and the wildlife they provide homes and shelter for – I love hedgerows but yes, we are ‘animals among animals’ if we don’t lobby for protection, preservation and planting

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