Snow and hedges
I refer to your recent article (2 March) on the value of roadside hedges in stopping snowdrifts blocking roads. A ny windbreak will tend to cause a drift downwind, so in many cases the worst drifts were alongside hedges: there is a reason why the older generations will remember temporary council snow fences erected 100 yards or so back on the upwind side of major roads over the winter months.
Having spent quite a little while recently on highway snow clearance, I feel qualified to say the easier roads to reopen were those with little to stop the wind & snow passing by.
I hasten to add that I am not arguing against the myriad values of farm hedges (we, like countless other farmers, have planted tens of thousands of hedge plants over the last 20 years), just that to blame blocked roads on farmers not planting hedges is somewhat flawed.
The adjacent photograph of the Pewsey-Everleigh road at the weekend illustrates my point, where a combination of banks and hedges resulted in 5’ deep drifts, whereas the adjoining fields were bare.
Pewsey Hill Farm