Breaking New Ground

Reconnecting People with The Brecks

Pine Line Planting

Pine Line Planting

Pine Lines and Pine Connections

The pine lines are the most familiar and iconic feature of the Brecks landscape. Comprising of long straight lines of contorted Scots and Corsican pines, they march across the landscape, silhouetted against the sky. Research by Prof Tom Williamson of UEA during the course of the project discovered that they were originally planted as hedges. The young, clipped pines provided a good windbreak for the crops in adjacent fields and survived well in the poor Brecks soils. Most of the lines were established between 1815 and 1825 and became difficult to manage. They subsequently grew into twisted mature trees which had been manipulated at a young age, giving this unique Brecks feature.

Over the course of the project, 4.65km of new pine line (exceeding target of 2km) have been created a further 8.95km of existing pine line have been restored (exceeding target of 8km). 23 pine lines have been covered with management plans and intensive engagement with landowners as to the heritage importance of these features has provided a sense of ownership of these rare features. Landowners and managers have been given advice on how to manage pine lines, plant and prune the young trees so that as the older trees come to the end of their natural life cycle, they are replaced by trees that have been managed in the same way, preserving this distinct landscape feature.

Six planting days have been run with local school pupils to engage the younger generation with the history of the Brecks and the importance of preserving these trees for the future. An online recording facility has been set up for volunteers to monitor pine lines and report on their health and status, and two specialist volunteers carried out an intensive ground beetle survey of pine lines, revealing 3 new locations for one of the rarest invertebrates in the Brecks, Harpalus froelichi or the Brush-thighed seed eater as it is more commonly known. This proves that pine lines provide an important refuge for insects and in turn farmland birds who predate upon them

Help survey pinelines with our dedicated website: http://www.breakingnewground.org.uk/news/how-to-survey-a-pine-line/

 
  

Legacy

  • Two main Estates, Elveden and Euston have committed to investing in the planting of new pine lines.  
  • MoD have also demonstrated a commitment to plant new pine lines. 
  • Continuity of a landscape feature as older trees come to the end of their natural lifecycle. 
  • All major stakeholders in the Brecks now have knowledge of pine lines to inform management decisions in future

I have lost count of the amount of Brecks residents who have told me that when they see the pine lines as they drive along the A11, that they know they are nearly home. It’s so important that we keep them intact for future generations when people feel this strong, emotional connection with them

Ed Goodall, Project Officer

Gallery

Example of potential area for new pine lines - Sept 2014 © Farm Conservation Ltd
Over mature pineline on boundary of Weeting Heath NNR - Sept 2014 © Farm Conservation Ltd
Young Trees
Pine Lines and Pine Connections
Pine Lines and Pine Connections
Pine Lines and Pine Connections
Pine Lines and Pine Connections
Pine Lines and Pine Connections
Pine Lines and Pine Connections
Pine Lines and Pine Connections