Healthy Hedgerows
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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.

By answering just a handful of simple questions, it can help you understand where each hedge is in its natural lifecycle, and work out how best to manage it. The structure and quality of hedgerows will always deteriorate if they are managed in the same way for too long, whether this is annual cutting at the same height, or not cutting at all. In fact, they are at their best when managed according to their lifecycle, which may include trimming, incremental increase in height and width, and eventually rejuvenation.

Quickly and simply you can rapidly assess all the hedges on your land, allowing you to use the management options generated to create a farm or landscape scale management plan for a healthy network of hedges.

Hedges have been with us since the bronze age, and persist thanks to an unbroken chain of care, management and periodic rejuvenation. Each hedge carefully managed from generation to generation, farmer to farmer, through the centuries. The privilege of caring for them, and the responsibility of ensuring they have a healthy future now falls to us. We write the next chapter in their history books, and it’s in our power to make it a good one..

Healthy Hedgerows survey guidance

Healthy Hedgerows survey guidance

This page offers all the information you need to be able to undertake some Healthy Hedgerows surveys.

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Hedge structures

Hedge structures

These illustrations will help categorise the structure of your hedge, which gives a good indication as to where a hedgerow fits in the hedgerow management cycle

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Healthy Hedgerows survey on paper

Healthy Hedgerows survey on paper

If you aren't able to survey using the Healthy Hedgerows app, click here for paper versions of the survey form and guidance

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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 Healthy Hedgerows app was developed by Natural Apptitude

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


PTES Hedgerow Survey *

Current Hedgerow Statistics

Length of hedgerow surveyed

768 km

Average number of woody species reported per 30m


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