Wednesday, July 15, 2020

Public asked to help fill gap in hedgerow knowledge

Wildlife charity People’s Trust for Endangered Species (PTES) is launching a new national survey encouraging the UK to health-check the nation’s hedgerows in an attempt to safeguard the future of this important habitat.

The Great British Hedgerow 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 survey attracted the attention of BBC Countryfile, and earlier this month presenter Helen Skelton joined PTES’ Key Habitats Project Officer Megan Gimber and Dormouse & Training Officer Ian White in Warwickshire, to find out why hedgerows are in need of more wide-scale management. They explained what the new survey involves and why PTES is calling for people to take part.

Who can take part?

The survey is aimed at landowners, farmers, wildlife groups and anyone interested in healthy hedgerows, who are encouraged to complete hedgerow health-checks online.

Landowners and farmers already assess the health of their hedges to guide their ongoing management, but by taking part in the Great British Hedgerow Survey, they will receive detailed and tailored management advice which will introduce the idea of managing hedgerows in a cycle.

For wildlife groups and individuals, the website also provides a handy place to store and display the hedgerow data they collect. Taking part will contribute valuable information to a national dataset that will inform conservation decisions in the future.

Declining hedgerows

Historically we’ve 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.

Megan Gimber, Key Habitats Project Officer at PTES, says: “With 70% of UK land being agricultural, hedgerows offer the safest route for wildlife to travel across farmland. Sadly, many hedgerows are becoming gappy, which fragments this amazing network, and without more sensitive management, many hedgerows are at risk of being lost altogether.

“This is problematic, especially when we’re seeing a fall in numbers of the animals that depend on them, such as hedgehogs, bats, hazel dormice and song thrush.”

She adds: “The importance of well-connected, healthy hedgerows can’t be overstated, so it’s really important to protect them. Ultimately a well-connected network of hedges will help our native wildlife to survive and thrive.

“We hope lots of people will be inspired to health-check their hedgerows and find out how they can best look after them both for wildlife and for healthy agricultural landscapes.”

A message from the Editor:

Thank you for reading this story on our news site - please take a moment to read this important message:

As you know, our aim is to bring you, the reader, an editorially led news site and magazine but journalism costs money and we rely on advertising, print and digital revenues to help to support them.

With the Covid-19 lockdown having a major impact on our industry as a whole, the advertising revenues we normally receive, which helps us cover the cost of our journalists and this website, have been drastically affected.

As such we need your help. If you can support our news sites/magazines with either a small donation of even £1, or a subscription to our magazine, which costs just £27.55 per year, (inc p&P and mailed direct to your door) your generosity will help us weather the storm and continue in our quest to deliver quality journalism.

As a subscriber, you will have unlimited access to our web site and magazine. You'll also be offered VIP invitations to our events, preferential rates to all our awards and get access to exclusive newsletters and content.

Just click here to subscribe and in the meantime may I wish you the very best.

Advertisment








Latest posts

CEMEX to mothball South Ferriby cement plant

Following a period of consultation with Employee Representatives and Unite the Union, CEMEX has confirmed it will mothball its South Ferriby Cement Plant. This will...

O’Brien’s Opticians – purveyors of luxury eyewear since 1979

O’Brien’s Opticians has been located on Wrawby Street in Brigg for over 40 years. A nationally recognised and acclaimed practice being runner-up in the...

Huge heap of waste dumped near Fulbeck

An appeal for information has been launched by South Kesteven District Council after a huge heap of rubbish was found dumped near Fulbeck. SKDC's Environmental...

Past week sees 42 new local cases of COVID-19

42 new cases of Coronavirus have been reported locally in the past week. While on Sunday 5 July a total of 3,341 cases had been...

Step inside this serene family home

Boasting open farmland views of Fenland Countryside, this idyllic detached period farmhouse is placed on a 0.65-acre plot down a quiet lane, close to...