What Is A Hedgerow?
- A hedgerow is a row of shrubs or bushes that provide a border or boundary, with or without trees.
- Defra states that, “Hedgerows play an important role on farms.”
The Role Of Hedgerows On Farms
- Help prevent soil erosion.
- Help to prevent water run off.
- Provide shelter.
- Help to control livestock.
- Protect crops.
- Provide habitat for wildlife.
Management And Maintenance Of Hedgerows
- Hedgerows should be trimmed no more than every two years.
- Slow growing thorn hedgerows can be trimmed every three years.
- Avoid trimming all hedgerows in the same year.
- Use a rotational cutting timetable to manage hedgerows.
- Trim up to a third of the farm’s hedgerows in a year.
- Hedgerows alongside roads and farm access tracks may need to be trimmed annually to avoid obstruction.
- Newly planted hedgerows need a light trim annually for about 10 years.
- Trimming must be avoided between 1st March and 31st July, as this is the main nesting season for birds.
- Trimming of hedgerows should take place at the end of Winter or early Winter if land conditions are unsuitable at the end of the season.
- Ground cover at the base of the hedgerow should be retained over Winter for ground nesting birds.
- Hedgerows should not be over-trimmed or over-managed.
- Livestock should be fenced away from hedgerows.
- Field margins of uncultivated or ungrazed land should be maintained between the hedge and the crop.
- Managing a range of different types and sizes of hedgerow will help to support a wide variety of wildlife.
- Old hedgerow trees provide a habitat for a wide variety of insects and other animals and require protection and a long-term plan for replacement.
Did you Know?
- Hedgerows are protected by the Hedgerows Regulations 1997.
- Permission is required before removing hedges that are at least 20m in length, over 30 years old and contain certain species of plant.
- Some hedgerows are protected on the basis of their historic importance or wildlife value.
Visit the Defra website for more information about hedgerows.