Hedgerows

2. Hedgerows

Hedgerows are the natural ‘motorways’ of the countryside creating a dense, protective habitat that provides food and shelter for birds, small mammals and invertebrates. Hedgerows often support a diverse flora at their base and may be punctuated by individual trees that have been allowed to reach full height.
Many country hedges have been removed to increase agricultural yields and are a diminishing resource, therefore, it is important that existing hedgerows are managed correctly, and new ones are created. On a golf course, a well-managed hedgerow can form a useful barrier to increase security and safety for both wildlife and golfers.

Planting New Hedgerows

  • New hedgerows can be cheaply and easily introduced and require little work once established.
  • A mix of native tree and shrub species that complement the surrounding environment should be chosen for planting, ensuring that newly planted individuals are protected from grazing and cold weather. More on how to plant a new hedgerow

Management of Existing Hedgerows

  • Periodic cutting and flailing of small sections of the hedgerow on a phased basis will maintain a dense, well-shaped hedge that is great for wildlife.
  • Hedge laying can help to restore base density and extend the lifespan of a hedge which has become more open with age. Any larger gaps can be filled with new trees or shrubs.
  • Mature trees within a hedgerow and unmanaged vegetation along the base of a hedge can increase biodiversity and provide better continuity between habitats. More on hedgerow maintenance
  • Restrictions do apply to hedgerows and it must be remembered that any hedgerow management should be undertaken outside of the bird breeding season. More on restrictions and recommendations
     
Nemisys