Leave the hedgerows alone to help wildlife

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From: Andrea Bradley, Harrogate, North Yorkshire.

WOULD any farmer or landowner be kind enough to tell me why hedges are cut at this time of year?

It would seem to make much more sense to leave them until after winter so that the birds and wildlife could benefit from the fruit which is lost by cutting in autumn.

It seems to me that some landowners are obsessed with tidy hedges or grass verges at the expense of our wildlife. I wonder, are these the same landowners who receive financial incentives to re-plant hedges (previously torn out to allow access to farm machinery) or to leave areas wild for the benefit of nature? I accept that not all landowners are the same but I would be interested to hear from those who feel this is an appropriate time to cut.

From: Peter Hyde, Driffield, East Yorkshire.

I REFER to the word ‘slive’ (Country Week, September 20).

In my youth it had two meanings. First if you ‘slived about you were slinking’, trying not to be seen. Second it meant to slice a bit off something like a joint of meat. In one of the villages where I lived we had a butcher whose nickname was ‘Sliver’ – so called because when cutting meat to sell he would say: “I’ll just slive a bit off that.”