Hedgerows have many practical uses. These include creating shelter for stock against bad weather, preventing soil erosion and providing cover for game. Hedges are also home to a huge variety of plants and animals. They are the main habitat for 47 species of conservation concern in the UK, including 13 rapidly declining species. Indeed, hedgerows are the most significant wildlife habitat over large stretches of lowland UK. So they are an essential refuge for many woodland and farmland plants and animals. Over 1500 insects, 600 plant, 65 birds and 20 mammals live or feed in hedgerows. Hedgerows can also act as ‘wildlife corridors’ for reptiles, amphibians and small mammals, such as the common dormouse.
The Hedgerows guide was produced in partnership with OMSCo (The Organic Milk Suppliers Co-operative).