Usually New Forest Forest Church meet together on the second Sunday of the month. However, during the lockdown we have been producing material on those Sundays for each of us to go out into the natural world around us either alone, or in our household/bubble.
This month New Forest Forest Church will be walking local hedgerow.
Hedgerow is a significantly important aspect of the ecosystem, and is in decline in Britain.
We will each walk whichever hedgerow we find to walk and stop to look at the vast array of life that can be found in it. Not only the creatures, but the plants themselves.
There is a very rough guide which can be followed by which a hedgerow can be aged. This is done by counting the number of woody species, trees and large shrubs, within a 30m length of hedgerow. Each species counted equals around 100 years of age, so the more species you find, the older the hedgerow is!
The second guide to discovery in the hedgerow is "the more you look, the more you see". Take time to pause at points along the hedgerow and just stare into it.
The longer you stand and stare the more life you will discover is there.
Why not record, write, draw, or photograph, the different species and types of plant you discover and guess the age of the hedgerow; and the different species and types of creature you discover and write them out on the Facebook page or blog post?
Below are a couple of websites to give you some more information.
As you walk the hedgerow keep these verses in mind:
And God said, “Let the earth bring forth living creatures of every kind: cattle and creeping things and wild animals of the earth of every kind.” And it was so.
13 From your lofty abode you water the mountains; the earth is satisfied with the fruit of your work.
14 You cause the grass to grow for the cattle, and plants for people to use, to bring forth food from the earth,
15 and wine to gladden the human heart,
oil to make the face shine, and bread to strengthen the human heart.
16 The trees of the Lord are watered abundantly, the cedars of Lebanon that he planted.
17 In them the birds build their nests; the stork has its home in the fir trees...
...24 O Lord, how manifold are your works!
In wisdom you have made them all;
the earth is full of your creatures.
Psalm 104v13-17 & 24
After you have walked the hedgerow and contemplated the verses, think of how you might be able, in any little or significant way, to help the growth of hedgerow, and the life of plant and creature within it.