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Hedgerows need our help

Although the rates of direct hedge removal have been reduced, we are still seeing the loss of hedges through the way they are managed. With many farmland species now marginalised to hedgerows, it’s time to look at the features of our hedges we can use to protect them.

Connectivity

Connectivity

70% of the UK is agricultural land and hedgerows often provide the safest route of travel for our wildlife. Whether this is dormice who need shrubby growth to travel and are reluctant to travel on the ground, or flying creatures like insects and bats who take advantage of the shelter that hedgerows provide. We need a well connected network of hedges to help our wildlife thrive.

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Structure

Structure

From the herbaceous vegetation at the bottom, to the woody shrubs that make up the structure and the trees that tower above the hedge canopy, all the parts that make up a hedge play a role for wildlife.

The structure of a hedge can tell us a lot about past management and can give us an insight into it's condition, as well as help us understand the best possible management plans to ensure it thrives in the future.

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Wildlife

Wildlife

The importance of our hedgerows cannot be overstated, especially at this time where we are seeing worrying declines in our native wildlife. They provide a home, forage, a hunting ground, shelter and routes of travel in our increasingly intensive landscape. Within our agricultural landscape, hedgerows are one of the only remaining semi-natural homes that wildlife has. But some hedges are better for wildlife than others.

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Hedgerow Surveys

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PTES Hedgerow Survey *

Current Hedgerow Statistics

Length of
hedgerow surveyed

547 km

Average number of woody species
reported per 30m

3.6

% hedges in each
main structure category

  • 44.3 Overtrimmed
  • 27.8 Dense and managed
  • 21.5 Tall and overgrown
  • 6.3 Recently rejuvenated

Average trees/100m

17.9

* Statistics contain results from historic assessment results in addition to current online hedgerow surveys.