Hedgerows are important both as landscape features and as wildlife habitat across lowland Britain, especially when associated with features such as grassy field margins. Classic hedges are linear, shrubby, mostly continuous features though hedges which have developed into lines of trees retain landscape value and some wildlife value. Over 600 plant species, 1,500 insects, 65 birds and 20 mammals have been recorded at some time living or feeding in hedges and they are especially important for butterflies and moths, farmland birds, bats and dormice. They also play a crucial role in landscape connectivity, linking up other areas of habitat so that wildlife can move more freely across the farmed landscape. Hazel dormouse, brown hairstreak and turtle dove are indicators of a healthy, well-connected hedgerow in good condition. Barn owl is indicative of a healthy farmed landscape with rough grassy field margins associated with hedges or woodlands. Many other species including farmland birds, small mammals, butterflies and other invertebrates will also benefit from good hedgerow management.
This summer the Society took part in the National Dormouse Footprint Tunnel Survey, run by the People’s Trust for Endangered Species (PTES). Six volunteers were involved in the 3-month survey that took place in partnership with a local farmer based in the Surrey Hills. The Society hopes to repeat the survey next year at new locations and will be looking for volunteers to help with this.Volunteer with the Society
Watch our Making Space for Nature film, celebrating the 150-year birthday of composer of the Lark Ascending, Ralph Vaughn Williams and our mosaic of habitats in the Surrey Hills.
This video was created in partnership with the National Trust.