About 5 miles along the main road south from where I live there stands a colossus of the botanical world.
The Meikleour (pronounced M’kloor) beech hedge is believed to be the tallest and longest hedge in the world.
Planted in 1745, this year it celebrates its 270th birthday.
The hedge is about a third of a mile long and has an average height of 100ft (varying from 80ft at one end to over 120ft at the other).
It’s looked after by the Meikleour Trust and, according to the information board nearby, “it is cut and remeasured every ten years utilizing a hydraulic platform and hand-held equipment, a complex operation which takes 4 men approximately 6 weeks”.
In the autumn the hedge can look spectacular, with leaves of red, orange and yellow. I’ve yet to get photos of that but at the end of May 2014, while it was all green and leafy, I toddled along there early one morning before there was much traffic about.
Close to the hedge is the small village of Meikleour where, as it happens, the delightful assistants once lived. I had parked there, and as I was walking back to the car several deer leapt out at me. After legging it across the road they ended up in a field. They were such delightful creatures that despite the poor quality of these photographs, I thought I’d pop them in anyway.