Norfolk Wildlife Trust and Norfolk Farming & Wildlife Advisory Group have come together to promote the value of our hedges and their best practice management.

Healthy hedgerows benefit farmers, provide life support for wildlife and many public and environmental benefits. You can manage your hedgerows to increase farm profitability, save money, reduce risks, help the environment, and generate income.

70% of the UK is agricultural land and hedgerows often provide the safest route of travel for our wildlife. Whether this is dormice who use shrubby growth to travel, or flying creatures like insects and bats who take advantage of the shelter that hedgerows provide.

We want to help farmers and landowners by providing free management advice on how to have healthy hedgerows. The leaflet available to download below explains why and how to manage your hedgerows to make sure they’re in a good condition to reach their economic, environmental and ecological potential.

As a conservation charity, our reason for focusing on hedgerows is their value to wildlife - but healthy hedgerows also benefit the environment and can provide financial benefits to farmers.

Download Healthy Hedgerows PDF

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Why are we worried about hedgerows?

Hedgerows are one of our country’s most widespread and valuable habitats, with great cultural and historical value. But their future can’t be taken for granted.

Last century tens of thousands of miles of hedgerows were lost, making the ones that remain all the more valuable. Happily the rate of direct removal has drastically reduced in recent years, and it is fantastic to see that new hedges are going back in. However, many hedges are still at risk through the way they’re managed.

Hedgerows need management or they turn into a line of trees, but managing them requires working with their natural lifecycle. It is impossible to keep a hedgerow at the same point in its lifecycle indefinitely without the structure declining. We see this when hedges are trimmed to the same level year after year; they lose stems, lose vegetation near the base, and become gappy. If this persists, the gaps get larger as the structure fails and we risk losing them altogether.

It’s vital that we manage our remaining hedgerows in a way that ensures their survival long term. There’s a lot at stake. Our simple management advice can provide you with the knowledge you need to do that.

Hedgerow Frequently Asked Questions

How do I plant a wildlife friendly hedge?
Are hedgerows being damaged by mechanical cutting?
Can I remove a hedgerow?
Where is the best place to position a bat box?
Where is the best place to put up a barn owl box?
What is a tree preservation order?

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