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Jump to: | What are the aims of this survey?  |  Which survey for me?  *Farmers and landowners  *Wildlife & hedgerow groups  *Individuals Survey background  | How will this help hedgerows?

 

We run two different hedgerow surveys, each with a slightly different focus and outcomes.

Healthy Hedgerows is a rapid hedgerow health checking survey. With just a handful of questions, this hedgerow health-checker will place each hedge you survey in the lifecycle and give you instant management options. It has been designed for farmers and landowners that want to understand their whole hedge network and create a hedge management plan at the farm scale.

The Great British Hedgerow Survey offers a more in depth assessment of our hedgerows. Each survey takes a little more time, but generates more detailed feedback both in terms of the hedgerow health and management advice. The Great British Hedgerow Survey can be done by anyone interested in hedgerow health, but is particularly suited to wildlife groups, hedge groups and other volunteer groups. 


Both Healthy Hedgerows and the Great British Hedgerows Survey help build an important picture of the health of hedgerows nationwide. Understanding the condition of our hedges gives us the best chances of helping restore them.

What are the aims of these surveys?

Both our hedgerow surveys are designed to:

  1. Provide 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. 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.

Which survey is 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.

 

The Great British Hedgerow Survey

Healthy Hedgerows Survey

Time per hedge survey?

~20 mins per hedge

~2 mins per hedge

What data do you collect?

Data collected on full hedge and on a 30m sample. Simple double sided A4 survey form. Surveying the hedge connections, structure, signs of structural damage, dimensions, hedge species (including relative abundance) and hedgerow trees.

6 simple questions about the structure of the hedge. Choose the closest fitting hedge structure image, then estimate hedge dimensions, base canopy, gaps, and number of trees.

Survey output

  •  Full hedge health-check (scores for wildlife, connectivity, structure)
  • Management advice
  •  Management advice

Designed for

  • Wildlife, hedge or other volunteer groups. Pdf download of results can be downloaded for collaborative work with farmers/landowners.
  • Parishes wanting to understand the health and best management of hedges at a parish scale.
  • Farmers wanting to do a detailed and full health check for any or all of their hedges
  • Any individuals keen to learn more about hedgerows, or help us put together a national picture of hedgerow health
  • Farmers and landowners wanting to assess and get management advice for numerous hedgerows.
  • Those wanting to update or create a farm or landscape scale management plan
  • Parishes wanting to understand the best management of hedges at a parish scale.
  • Wildlife, hedge or other volunteer groups working in collaboration with farmer/landowners to help create a landscape scale management plan.

Survey aims

  • Gathering a nationwide picture of the hedgerow health to help steer our conservation efforts
  •  Providing instant health-check and management advice
  •  An education tool helping raise the profile hedgerows and their value
  • Providing instant management advice to improve the health of hedgerows nationwide

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.

Healthy Hedgerows is a rapid hedgerow health checking survey designed specifically for farmers and other landowners. With just a handful of questions, this hedgerow health-checker will place each hedge you survey in the lifecycle and give you instant management options. It has been designed for those farmers and landowners that want to understand their whole hedge network and create a hedge management plan at the farm scale.

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. The Great British Hedgerow Survey 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

Individuals

If you are not part of a wildlife group that is organising hedge surveys, you can still take part as an individual. The Great British Hedgerow 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

Survey background

We based the Great British Hedgerow 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, in part, from the hedgerow management cycle work which is based on the hedgerow management 10 point scale, created by Nigel Adams (for more information visit Nigel Adams Countryside Management website here) 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.

Healthy Hedgerows is a streamlined, rapid assessment version of The Great British Hedgerow Survey, designed specifically to allow you to rapidly survey numerous hedges, with the aim of collating all the advice generated into a farm scale management plan. In this way these two surveys are complementary.

Healthy Hedgerows is part of the ‘Close the Gap’ project. It is created by People’s Trust for Endangered Species, and builds on the fantastic work of Hedgelink and the hedgerow lifecycle scale created by Nigel Adams. It helps you create balanced hedge management plans at the farm or landscape level and so ensuring a healthy future for hedgerows.

This project is funded by the government’s Green Recovery Challenge Fund. The fund is being delivered by The National Lottery Heritage Fund in partnership with Natural England and the Environment Agency.

The hedgerow management 10 point scale on which this illustration is based was created by Nigel Adams, for more information visit Nigel Adams Countryside Management website here

How will this help hedgerows?

There are three main ways these surveys aim to help improve the health of hedgerows.

  1.  These surveys provide instant feedback on the health of each hedge surveyed, as well as 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.  These surveys 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 these surveys 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

672 km

Average number of woody species reported per 30m

3.6

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