Hedges need help (more)
Historically we have lost about half our hedgerows since WWII. Although the rates of direct hedge removal have been reduced, we are still seeing the loss of hedgerows simply through the way they are managed. The hedgerows that criss-cross our countryside are a vital habitat and corridor for many of our native species. However, they are becoming increasingly fragmented which is threatening the wildlife that depends on them. Healthy hedgerows reduce soil erosion as well as air and water pollution. They provide forage for pollinating insects, predators to keep crop pests in check and shelter for livestock, reducing deaths from exposure and improving milk yields. Hedges help us fight climate change through storing carbon, and also reduce the damage from flooding.
Wildlife charity the People’s Trust for Endangered Species has launched a national survey, the Great British Hedgerow Survey, to health-check the nation’s hedgerows in an attempt to safeguard the future of this important habitat. The survey offers instant feedback about the health of each hedge, as well as tailored advice on what type of management will ensure it thrives in the future. The results also provides conservationists with vital data helping build a national picture of the health of Britain’s hedges.
The Great British Hedgerow Survey is aimed at landowners, farmers, wildlife groups and anyone interested in healthy hedgerows, who are encouraged to complete hedgerow health-checks online. Taking part will contribute valuable information to a national dataset that will inform conservation decisions in the future. Can you or your local wildlife group contribute? Start here: https://hedgerowsurvey.ptes.org