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Jump to: | What are the aims of this survey?  |  Is this survey for me?  *Farmers and landowners  *Wildlife & hedgerow groups  *Individuals Why do we need 'another' hedge survey?  |  What is the survey based on? | How will this help hedgerows?

What are the aims of this survey?

The two main aims of the Great British Hedgerow Survey are:

  1. The survey provides a health-check to assess the condition of each hedgerow surveyed. The results offer instant feedback and tailored management advice for each hedge to ensure the hedge thrives for the benefit of our wildlife in the future. 
  2. To collect this data to get a national view of the condition of our hedgerows. Understanding the condition of our hedges gives us the best chances of helping restore them.

This survey is comparatively simple to do, but collects enough vital information to give a good assessment of hedgerow health, as well as robust advice for future management.

It has been designed for both land mangers that may want to improve the structural condition of their own hedgerows, but also for interested wildlife groups that want assess the quality of habitat in any particular area. 

The data will be collected in order to give us a good overview of the condition of our hedgerows nationally. This helps guide future conservation work by People's Trust for Endangered Species and partners, whether it be through active, on-the-ground conservation or the messages we are putting out to the public.

Is the Great British Hedgerow Survey for me?

Some things are better joined up. Like hedgerows. And our approach to hedgerow conservation. Whoever you are and whatever interest you have in hedgerows, this project can help.

Farmers and landowners.

If you own or manage hedgerows, then you are already making assessments about the health of your hedges, and using this information to decide on future hedge management.

This tool has a simple but meaningful short survey that will help you structure these assessments and give your hedges a full health check. It will also give you an indication of where in the hedgerow management cycle your hedge is, and what this means for its future management. This will help guide you to the best management choices for each of your hedges to help maintain a healthy hedgerow network that works for you as well as for wildlife. 

Find out more about how healthy hedgerows can work for us.

Wildlife groups and hedgerow groups

There are groups of people up and down the country already doing fantastic work surveying hedgerows. If you are part of a wildlife group or a hedge group that surveys hedgerows, you may already be familiar with the process of surveying. This website can help facilitate your survey project in a number of ways:

  • Provide a simple and meaningful survey format, allowing direct data input on a smartphone or tablet (so no typing up survey forms back in the office!). Paper versions are also available for areas where reception may be a problem
  • Provide immediate feedback on the health of each hedge surveyed, as well as future management options. This means it can be used as an educational tool with groups keen to learn about the health of our hedgerows
  • Collate all your survey data, and share any surveys collected under a specific 'project' with the project administrator
  • Facilitates the export and download of all your data, (a project administrator can do this with all the data allocated to their specific project)
  • Make your data work harder – it will contribute to a national dataset helping us understand the conservation need nationally


If you are not part of a wildlife group that is organising hedge surveys, you can still take part as an individual. Taking part in this survey will:

  • Help you learn more about the hedgerow management cycle 
  • Give you an understanding about why each hedge looks the way it does
  • Allow you to contribute to a national scale project that will help hedgerow conservation
  • Learn more about the benefits of hedges for wildlife

Why do we need 'another' hedge survey?

There are many surveys already that can help you survey a hedge, there is good information available about the life cycle of a hedge, about which hedges benefit wildlife, and recommendations about hedgerow management practices such as hedge laying.

What we are doing here at People's Trust for Endangered Species is uniting all this good work and tying all these benefits into one process.

The Great British Hedgerow Survey provides you with instant feedback about the condition of the hedge, with separate scores for wildlife, connectivity and structure, then gives tailored management advice to guide you to the best way of managing the hedge to ensure tip top condition for our wildlife in the future.

What is the Great British Hedgerow Survey based on?

We have based the survey on the ' Standard methodology for hedgerow surveys', colloquially known as 'the Defra survey'. However we have tweaked it to make it easier to use, streamlined it, added a few questions we thought were now necessary, and to make better and more immediate use of the data you collect. 

The 'Defra' survey was very well designed and researched and is widely used around the country which made it the obvious choice. Although we have streamlined it significantly to make it more accessible, the data collected from the Defra survey and from our survey are compatible so we will be able to combine datasets and use more of the amazing data collected up and down the country to help get a national view on hedgerow condition.

The management advice comes from the hedgerow management cycle work published by Hedgelink, as well as from parameters defined in the original Defra survey and also from findings in scientific literature on hedgerows. 

The data that you put into this tool will trigger an assessment of the condition and management advice automatically so your feedback is instant.

How will this help hedgerows?

There are three main ways this health-check aims to help improve the health of hedgerows.

  1.  The survey provides instant feedback on the health of each hedge surveyed, as well as placing it in the hedge management cycle and providing tailored management advice. This advice will help land managers keep their hedge in, or return their hedge to the healthy region of the hedge management cycle, ensuring it thrives and provides for our wildlife in the future.
  2.  The survey will collate data on a national scale that will reveal trends about hedge health. This will help us focus our conservation effort and messaging on these trends in the future.
  3.  As part of this survey we aim to raise the profile of hedgerows and their value both to our native wildlife and to us. We will showcase hedgerows as an asset, discussing how and why landowners should manage them to produce a bigger, better and more joined up network.


PTES Hedgerow Survey *

Current Hedgerow Statistics

Length of hedgerow surveyed

632 km

Average number of woody species reported per 30m


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