Pocopson questions Toll over hedgerow status

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Fencing at The Preserve bring condition of hedgerow into question

By Kelli Siehl, Staff Writer, The Times

PocopsonHedgerow

A hedgerow near Pocopson’s Barnard House. Township officials are concerned about the status of a hedgerow near The Preserve, a Toll Brothers’ development currently under construction near Locust Grove Road.

POCOPSON — Township residents may finally understand the meaning of the mysterious line from Led Zeppelins’ classic, “Stairway To Heaven,” as the Board of Supervisors appeared to experience “a bustle in their hedgerow,” when discussing that very topic at a recent Township Supervisors’ meeting.

Officials expressed concern over the status of a hedgerow located on a portion of Toll Brothers, The Preserve at Chadds Ford property, between Locust Grove, Corrine and Larkin Bailey Roads. A local resident asked supervisors to look into recent changes made to portions of the property, specifically the addition of a fence placed adjacent to the property’s walking trail, prompting officials to question the condition of a nearby hedgerow.

Why are officials “a bustle” over the possible removal of a hedgerow…what is it anyway?

Township officials consider a hedgerow to be woodlands and is treated as such with stated provisions in several township ordinances including plan requirements under subdivision and land development and several areas of the general zoning ordinance. Under the general zoning ordinance, a hedgerow is defined as “a linear plant community dominated by trees and/or shrubs.”

Although hedgerows are made up of many plants, their role in nature encompasses much more. Many times, they occur along roads, fences, property lines and are used to separate farming fields. They have been used for thousands of years, either planted by nature, or on purpose, as a wind break, to attract beneficial insects, as privacy screens and noise barriers. According to Hobby Farm magazine, Hedgerows produce crops like nuts, fruit and firewood. They replace weeds and reduce erosion by helping to hold water.

Hedgerows add beauty and a safe place for birds and critters to make their home. Supervisors remind residents, especially those interested in building on properties in the township, to familiarize themselves with township ordinances. Information can be found on the township website, www.pocopson.org.

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