Tag Archives: biodiversity

Trees for Cities (…and remember that hedges are trees too)

Trees for Cities are a nice charity who aim to help people to plant more urban trees, which is a great cause as trees make a big difference to the urban environment.

Their website is here: http://www.treesforcities.org/

It’s also worth bearing in mind that hedges are trees too. The individual plants may be humble compared to fully grown trees but they carry all the same environmental advantages and more – they provide shelter for birds, insects and other wildlife, they help to absorb CO2, filter pollution, reduce noise, and they soften the urban environment with a touch of greenery. In the average street there are far more trees planted as part of a hedge than fully grown.

One of the blights of my part of London is people pulling up their front gardens and hedges and concreting over them to create parking spaces. It’s ugly, environmentally damaging and increases flood risk by reducing the amount of soil that will absorb water. Urban hedges aren’t afforded the same protection as their country cousins, but in their own way they are just as valuable in their contribution to biodiversity and the environment. They’re not quite our version of the rainforest, but without them we’d be a lot worse off.

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Filed under Gardening Thoughts, Hedges and Biodiversity, Trees

OMSCo’s Hedgerow Safari programme

This is a nice initiative, helping to teach children about the variety of flora and fauna that can be found in our hedgerows.

http://www.teach-organic.org.uk/index.cfm/e/safari.home

(OMSCo is the Organic Milk Suppliers Co-operative).

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Filed under Hedges and Biodiversity, Rural Britain

Hedges – a good practice guide

The English Hedgerow Trust has a useful Good Practice Guide on their website here. It has advice on best ways to trim a hedge, how to rejuvenate gappy hedges or hedges that have been damaged by clumsy flail cutting.

One particular bit of good advicefor those maintaining rural hedgerows is to mark some saplings with fluorescent tape and to allow these to grow into hedgerow trees. While many operators of mechanical cutting devices are careful to avoid mature trees, there is a dearth of younger trees being allowed to grow to maturity in our hedgerows and simple practices like this can help to remedy the situation.

http://www.hedgerows.co.uk/

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Filed under Hedgelaying, Hedges and Biodiversity

Hedgerows and pollinators

There’s an interesting article here http://tinyurl.com/6ay4c3o on experiments in America with flowering hedgerows, which are designed to encourage pollinating insects.

In this case the hedgerows are areas left to grow a little wild, with flowers for the insects – rather different to a typical British hedgerow, which is made up of trees and woody shrubs. However British hedges play a similar role – insects are encouraged both by the trees and the plant species and flowers that grow in the base of the hedge and along the hedge margins.

To encourage populations of bees in particular and insects in general it is a good idea for farmers to leave a fairly wide hedge margin rather than ploughing right up to the hedge. This also encourages birds and other small mammals as it gives them a habitat in which to feed or live. And finally predators such as hawks and bats are also thus encouraged, so the positive effect of hedges goes all the way back up the food chain.

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Filed under Hedges and Biodiversity