This week is National Hedgerow Week, brought to you by The Tree Council and partners.
This year, National Hedgerow Week (NHW) coincides with National Plant Health Week so the focus for 2023 is ‘healthy hedgerows’ - those big, bursting, bastions of biodiversity that shape our countryside and soften our urban spaces.
And while NHW is about encouraging everyone to appreciate and enjoy the benefits UK hedgerows bring, we’re also supporting the urgent collection and analysis of data into the health of our hedgerows nationwide, information that hasn’t been updated since the 2007 Countryside Survey.
Hedges present an opportunity to physically separate and manage land while providing an incredible ecosystem resource. One of our recent discussions highlighted how some tree species, like willow, can provide key nutrients for livestock that aren’t available in grass, reducing reliance on supplements. Incredible!
Want To Get involved with Hedges this week?
The Tree Council worked with CPRE to develop Hedgerow Help Out - a simple guide to help identify a healthy hedgerow.
And if that perfect hedge is discovered, submit it to Chris Packham’s Hedge of the Year competition – launched during NHW 2022.
The Tree Council is also hosting free, online Hedge Talks throughout the week, with Springwatch’s Lucy Lapwing on healthy hedgerows, insight from the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology (CEH) team behind all previous Countryside Surveys, and even television presenter turned farming pioneer, George Lamb. Book your spot here.
Hedgerows are unsung biodiversity heroes, as well as connecting habitats, protecting against pollution and helping fight climate change, they provide a home for 80% of our woodland birds, hedgehogs, most species of bat, the great crested newt, dormice and butterflies. Not only are they boundaries for livestock, but they also provide shelter, help retain soil and are resilient against flooding events. Hedges can also be diversified to provide all sorts of outputs as seen in the case study HERE.
Want to know more?
Our Woodland Advisory service can help on all aspects of woodland creation and management, and this includes hedges. There are various schemes that could help when it comes to hedgerows, so get in touch HERE and see what we can do for you.