LOCAL BIODIVERSITY ACTION PLAN
Links to associated SAPs
White-Letter Hairstreak, Dormouse
A hedgerow is defined as any boundary line of trees or shrubs over 20m long and less than 5m wide, and where any gaps between the trees or shrub species are less than 20m wide (Bickmore, 2002). Any bank, wall, ditch or tree within 2m of the centre of the hedgerow is considered to be part of the hedgerow habitat, as is the herbaceous vegetation within 2m of the centre of the hedgerow. All hedgerows consisting predominantly (i.e. 80% or more cover) of at least one woody UK native species are covered by this priority habitat, where each UK country can define the list of woody species native to their respective country. Climbers such as honeysuckle and bramble are recognised as integral to many hedgerows, however they require other woody plants to be present to form a distinct woody boundary feature, as such they are not included in the definition of woody species. The definition is limited to boundary lines of trees or shrubs, and excludes banks or walls without woody shrubs on top of them.
The average loss of hedgerow in the county of Cheshire was estimated at 66% in 1992 with the greatest loss occurring in areas of high quality agricultural land. In lowland Cheshire, hedgerow trees are an integral part of ancient hedge systems and have been deliberately planted in later hedge systems. These trees constitute substantially to the wooded aspect of the rural Cheshire region.
* Removal for agricultural and development purposes.
* Cutting being too frequent, badly timed and poorly styled, leaving the hedge vulnerable to pressure from grazing stock and reducing the habitat quality.
* Neglect, leading to the development of a line of trees.
* Loss of hedgerow trees through senescence and lack of replacement.
* Use of herbicides, pesticides and fertilisers right up to the base of hedgerows.
* Increased stocking, particularly of sheep.
Objectives, Targets and Actions
The objectives, tagrets and actions to help conserve ancient hedgerows in the Cheshire region can be found on the Biodiversity Action Reporting System (BARS) along with full details of our progress so far.
How to find out more about Hedgerows
Council for the Protection of Rural England 'Hedgerows' leaflet.
Hedgelink - www.hedgelink.org.uk
UK BAP Definition
Natural England Hedge cutting leaflet - published April 2007
How can you get involved?
Create your own hedgerow.
The benfits of having a hedgerow as a garden boundary rather than a fence include:
* it acts as a weather and dust filter
* It is inexpensive to create
* It is long lasting if properly maintained
* It encourages wildlife
* It adds a feature of beauty and interest to the local landscape
* It can offer privacy and security
However, hedgerows can be a source of conflict between neighbours, problems include:
* Blocking out light
* Root damage
* Hedge crossing the boundary
* Hedge obstructing pavements
* Blocking a view
* Hedge damaging property
The Cheshire Landscape Trust coordinate the Hedgerows LBAP. They are always looking for keen members of the public to take part of hedgerow surveys and monitoring. You do not need any special knowledge as a full training pack and species identification guide is provided.
LBAP Chair, Katie Lowe,
Cheshire Landscape Trust
Phone: 01244 674 193
National Lead Partner, Department of the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs National Lead Contact Ann Davies, DEFRA
Phone: 020 7238 6448
References & Glossary
Bickmore, C.J. (2002): Hedgerow Survey Handbook: a standard procedure for local surveys in the UK. Countryside Council for Wales, Bangor.
Cheshire County Council (1992): Cheshire State of the Environment Report, CCC, Chester.
HMSO (1997): The Hedgerow Regulations, London.
HMSO (1995): Biodiversity: The UK Steering Group Report, Volume 2: Action Plans, London.
HMSO (1995): Biodiversity: The UK Steering Group Report, Volume 1: Meeting the Rio Challenge, London.