Chris Park, Project Development Officer (Environment)

As we mark #NationalHedgerowWeek, here is some information on why hedgerows are important and how you can get involved to help protect them across Nene Park.

In the UK, hedgerows are a familiar and cherished part of our landscape.  Hedgerows are so much more than lines of managed shrubbery separating fields, they are part of the rich tapestry of rural heritage. Next time you are in the Park, take time to consider what hedgerows represent and appreciate the contribution they make to our environment.

Hedgerows are refuges of biodiversity that connect habitats. They help protect against pollution and fight climate change. Hedges provide habitat for 80% of our farmland and woodland birds, they support many other species including hedgehogs, most species of bat, great crested newt, badgers and butterflies. So we need to protect them!

According to our GIS mapping data, we think there are approximately 14.5 km (9 miles) of hedgerow in Nene Park. However we don’t know for definite, nor do we know what these hedgerows are comprised of in terms of shrub species or what mature trees they contain, nor indeed their importance to wildlife.

To help us understand the environmental services that hedges and hedgerow tree in the Park provide, our amazing volunteers have recently started a survey that will search out all the hedgerows in Nene Park. This survey will look at hedgerow structure and quality and will provide us with the information we need in order to improve them for wildlife and help the Park team to manage them in perpetuity. If you too would like to get involved in this survey, please contact the volunteer team at [email protected]

The phrase, to hedge one's bets, in financial terms, means to protect one's investments in multiple ways in order to mitigate risk. In Nene Park we will be investing in our hedgerows to mitigate against risks caused by the climate emergency, so literally, hedging our bets.