Mazes and Labyrinths were an idea that many Greens have had and rather less have actually made into a feature on their Greens. Some were made as the Millennium Feature and some were added after. The simplest form of maze is simply marked on the ground, such as that at Albion. More ambitious Labyrinths have been constructed, such as that at Carbrooke, which are quite challenging to find one's way through and may include the traditional tower in the middle. All mazes need some kind of maintenence and full adult-sized mazes require many hours a year of regular work to keep their structure and function.
Maze on the Ground EditThis idea, which was familiar in medieval times, used for the repentant to walk as penance for their sins, can be quite simple to make and maintain. Albion has one, which is just marked in small stones on the ground and locals put it back together from time to time.
One could create a maze for a season, as Halton Village do in the summer season.
Full Permanent MazesEdit
The famous mazes, such as Hampton Court, use hedges between their paths, these should be maintained at a suitable height for the purpose- perhaps 1.8M for a full adult maze, or 1.2M for little children only. The hedges must be dense and complete, which is a challenge. Most of them have some from of fence/structure inside to keep them firm and stop people from pushing their way through, damaging the hedge.
Carbrooke's Maze and their advice on mazesEdit
Carbrooke has a 'living fence maze' made up of a mix of Dogwood and Willow, cut and woven into a fence, which is rooting and will be maintained as a living structure. It is made up of 8 rings with a small tower in the middle. By using this material it allows us to harvest materials from the maze to plug gaps or replace whole sections. In 2016 Carbrooke replaced over 100 metres of the maze. All of the materials have been harvested from our green.
Things to consider when thinking about a maze A living maze takes a lot of work to maintain, especially if it gets overgrown, Plant your dogwoods and ideally allow at least 2 metres between rows to enable the use of automated machines; ride on mowers, strimmer etc. Keep the height of the maze about 4-5feet so parents can see over but children can still play
Materials needed and Organisations that can help Dogwood is one of the cheaper plants to buy. You can also take cuttings and pot them on easily. The Woodland trust usually have grants for hedgerows and also provide packs to get you started. Maintenance In order to maintain a "living maze" there are a number of jobs that need to be completed through out the year.
Planting new dogwoods Repairing/replacing parts of the maze where there are gaps With using hazel poles and dogwood you can create hurdling to replace sections, it also mean you can plant new plants and they have protection.
Strimming grass inside the maze Cutting back shots in way of paths
Reducing maze height by 1/3 to encourage new growth Removing any deadwood.