Hedges removed from road given new lease of life

Some of the hedges from the improvement work at Barton Hill were donated to sloe gin producer Sloemotion.
Some of the hedges from the improvement work at Barton Hill were donated to sloe gin producer Sloemotion.

One person’s rubbish is another person’s treasure – and that is certainly the case for a North Yorkshire gin and sloe gin producer just off the A64.

Highways England has been carrying out a major junction improvement at Barton Hill to improve safety and visibility for road users.

As part of this £2.8m scheme, sections of the area’s hedgerow, a number of trees, and stone from an old water culvert had to be removed.

However, the owners of Sloemotion at Barton-le-Willows, Jonathan and Julian Curtoys, worked with Highways England and its contractor A-one+ by giving some of the hedges a new lease of life.

Highways England project manager Russell Mclean said: “We saved as much of the hedgerow as possible but sections of the hedge had to be removed.

“The sloe berries used to produce the gin grow on hedgerows, so it seemed like the perfect solution to donate the hedge to this local sloe gin producing firm.”

Jonathan Curtoys said: “The changes will certainly have a positive benefit for drivers but then to donate the hedgerow, the stones and timber to local businesses, it feels like something is being given back to the community. I commend Highways England and A-one+ for this – it has been a pleasure working with them over the last seven months.”