Conservation partnership to create Healthy Hedgerows

Tuesday 24 November, 2020

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

Working with the People's Trust for Endangered Species, NWT and Norfolk FWAG have created a free booklet on Healthy Hedgerows, providing a wealth of information relating to our hedgerows, their importance, and how best they can be managed for wildlife.

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

There are some simple and proven techniques which farmers and landowners can use to create bigger, better, more and joined up hedgerows, which will benefit farms, wildlife and the environment. The two organisations will be promoting the hedgerow management cycle, which encourages gaps in hedgerows planted up, young hedgerow trees given the space to grow, and hedgerows cut at the appropriate time and frequency. 

Matt Jones, Living Landscape officer at Norfolk Wildlife Trust said: 
“Our distinctive hedgerow network is an important feature of Norfolk's countryside. Not only does it provide valuable habitat in its own right, but it is fundamentally important in linking key sites together, providing an element of connectivity that is essential if we are to create a nature recovery network across the landscape. But hedgerows are living, dynamic habitats that require careful management if their wildlife value is to be maximised and sustained. We are therefore keen to work on this joint initiative to promote the best practice management of this precious habitat.”

Mike Edwards, Business Manager at Norfolk Farming & Wildlife Advisory Group said:
“We are very pleased to be working on this joint initiative. Hedgerows are so very important for a wide range of species. They are a habitat found on almost every farm, so I would call upon all the farmers and landowners to get involved to ensure that their hedgerows are delivering as much as possible for our farm wildlife.”

Both organisations are able to provide further advice on the management of hedgerows and associated habitat features. The idea of healthy hedgerows is being incorporated into a number of new projects currently under development.

The free booklet will be given to all Norfolk FWAG members and partners involved in projects with Norfolk Wildlife Trust. It is available to download free of charge on our Healthy Hedgerows page, from where you can also access a range of other resources on hedgerow management.
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