Perhaps a happier note compared to some of our more recent blogs…
The Dorset Climate Action Network has launched the Great Big Dorset Hedge Campaign in an effort to map, plant and join up sections of hedgerow across Dorset. It is hoped that this will promote biodiversity and encourage wildlife across the county.
The long-term project aims to create a network of connected and managed hedgerows as wildlife friendly corridors and refuge areas, with the help of the local communities along the way.
By inspiring communities to take part by becoming hedge surveyors, coordinators or planters and providing the relevant training it is hoped that it will bring people closer together as communities and closer to nature.
Why are hedgerows so important?
Miles of ancient hedgerows have been removed to make way for agriculture and development.
Hedgerows are thought of by many ecologists as an ecosystem itself due to the range of biodiversity within. They provide a home for 80% of the UK’s woodland birds, hedgehogs, many species of bats, great crested newt, dormice and butterflies.
The re-planting of hedgerows is also thought to be important in the battle against climate change due to their ability to pull carbon from the atmosphere.
At this time of year especially, hedgerows provide nuts and berries for all animals, and humans too!
Further benefits include flood prevention, soil protection and shelter from wind and extreme weather for animals, crops etc.
There is currently government legislation in place to protect hedgerows of key length, location or importance in England and Wales under the Hedgerows Regulations 1997 and also the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981. The requirements are quite specific so unfortunately not all hedgerows are protected. We just need to keeping planting more so that they can be protected eventually too!