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Image library | Hedges and wildlife

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Other wildlife

A woodland toadstool occasionaly found alongside mature hedges.A damselfly frequently found resting on hedges near fast flowing streams and rivers.A male carder bee, Bombus pascuorum, on a greater bird's-foot trefoil flower.

Butterflies, moths and other insects

Brimstone butterfly feeding on a thistle, Robert Goodison, Natural EnglandBrown hairstreak caterpillar on blackthorn, final instar.  Locks Park Farm, HatherleighBrown hairstreak butterfly on fleabane.  Locks Park Farm, Devon.  The adults lay their eggs on the new growth of blackthorn, often in hedges.  Numbers have decreased considerably as a result of flail mowing hedges every year.Brown Hairstreak butterfly, Butterfly ConservationBurnished brass mothElephant hawkmoth caterpillar.  Alhtough this one is feeding on fuschia in a garden, they commonly feed on willowherbs in hedgesElephant hawkmoth Caterpillar of the Eyed hawkmoth.  This species feeds on willows and occasionally apples, often in hedges.Eyed hawkmothThe caterpillar of the Garden tiger moth.  These caterpillars are sometimes known as woolly bears.  They feed on a wide range of herbs, including nettles and docks, and are often found in hedges.  They are becoming scarce in southern England now, possiblyGarden tiger mothGatekeeper, or hedge brown, butterflyGatekeeper, or hedge brown, butterflyHedge rustic moth, a species that is declining very rapidly in numbers across sourthern BritainCaterpillar of the lappet moth.  This species feeds on blackthorn and hawthorn in hedges.Lappet moth, a superb mimic of dead leaves and a species which frequents large hedgerows.A spectacular micro-moth, with very long antennaw, which can often be seen daning up and down in sunny patches in tall hedgerows during the dayOak eggar mothCaterpillar of the Privet Hawkmoth, which can be found on privet hedges, often in gardens, as well as on ash and lilac.Privet hawkmoth, one or our largest moths and one associated with hedges and gardens.Purple hairstreak butterfly.  This attractive butterfly can often be seen flying high up around oak and ash trees in hedgerows during July and August.Caterpillar of the purple hairstreak butterfly.  This species feeds on oak.Purple hairstreak butterfly.  This attractive butterfly can often be seen flying high up around oak and ash trees in hedgerows during July and August.Caterpillar of the puss moth.  This spectacular caterpillar feeds on willows and polars, often in tall hedges.Puss moth.Red admiral. The caterpillars of this butterfly feed on nettles, often alongside hedges.The caterpillars of the Small eggar feed mainly on blackthorn and hawthorn in hedges.  When young, between April and July, they live gregariously in dense silk tents which can be very conspicuous.  Feamles prefer to lay their eggs on dense but incut hedgeSwallow-tail moth.  The caterpilars of this large and common moth feed on a range so shrubs, often in hedgerows.

Birds

Chaffinch nest with eggs in forked branches of blackthorn created by flail mowingChiffchaff nest with eggs in grass tussock at base on hedgeSog thrush nest with well-grown chicks beside earth hedge bank.

Mammals

A hedge regularly occupied by dormice on Locks Park Farm, West Devon.  The holly bush in the centre of the photo, to one side of the hedge, is a favoured breeding spot, containing nests in 3 out of 5 years.An adult dormouse in a hedge peering out from behind leaves to watch the photographer, at Locks Park Farm, West Devon A breeding-size nest in densely forked blackthorn where a hedge has been cut with a flail mower.  Blackthorn is a favoured nesting shrub, particularly at the cut line.  Locks Park Farm, West DevonA breeding-size nest in densely forked blackthorn where a hedge has been cut with a flail mower.  Blackthorn is a favoured nesting shrub, particularly at the cut line. Note that the nest has been camouflaged by green leaves taken from surrounding plants, A breeding nest in the bramble margin alongside a hedge.  Where densely branched throny or prickly shrubs are not available, dormice will build their nests in bramble and rose margins.  Three young dormice later emerged from this nest.  Locks Park Farm, WA dormouse nest in a soft rush (Juncus effusus) clump growing close to the edge of a hedge.  An adult emerged from this nest.  Note how well it is disguised with a loose covering of bramble leaves.  Locks Park Farm, West DevonA breeding-sized dormouse nest found low down in a hedge in October, in West DevonTwo young dormice disturbed from their nearby nest in a hedge at Locks Park Farm, West Devon They soon returned to their nest.A young dormouse returns to its nest in a hedge at Locks Park Farm, West DevonA young dormouse freezes motionless near its nest in a species-rich hedge.  Locks Park Farm, West Devon

Flowers (herbs)

Dog Rose - Rosa canina  - image Durham Hedgerow PartnershipDog violet (Viola canina), often found in spring on hedge banks.Early purple orchid (Orchis mascula) - an orchid that often occurs on hedge banks in the West Country, flowering in late April and early MayBluebell, red campion and greater stitchwort in full flower on a Devon hedge bank, West Devon, May 2007Bluebell, red campion and greater stitchwort in full flower on a Devon hedge bank, West Devon, May 2008Buttercups and greater stitchwort flowering on Devon hedge bank, West Devon, May 2007Honeysuckle flower, a source of nectar and nourishment for many insects and even dormice.Primroses flower on the side of a Devon hedge.Ramsoms (Allium ursinum), or Wild Garlic, in flower on a Devon hedge bank.Tufted vetch (Vicia cracca) and meadowseet (Filipendula ulmaria) in flower beside Devon hedge

Berries, nuts, keys and fruits

Alder buckthorn (Frangula alnus) berriesBlack bryony (Tamus communis) berriesBlackthorn (Prunus spinosa) berries, known as sloesBlackberries, the fruits of Bramble (Rubus fruticosus) Bullace (Prunbus domestica), a type of wild plum, fruitsCrab apple (Malus domestica) applesElderberries, the berries of the elder bush (Sambucus nigra)Acorns from English, or Pedunculate, oak (Quercus robur)Guelder-rose (Viburnum opulus) berriesGuelder-rose (Viburnum opulus) berriesA hawthorn (Crataegus monogyna) tree laden with hawsHaws, the berry of the hawthorn tree (Crataegus monogyna)The nut of the hazel tree (Corylus avellana)Berries of the holly tree (Ilex aquifolium)Honeycuskle (Lonicera periclymenun) berriesWild pear (Pyrus pyraster) fruitsPlymouth pear (Pyrus cordata) a very rare and protected tree that occurs in hedges in Devon and CornwallHips, the fruits of dog rose, Rosa caninaHips, the fruits of field rose, Rosa arvensisRowan (Sorbus aucuparia) berriesSpindle (Euonymus europaeus) berriesSpindle (Euonymus europaeus) berriesSycamore (Acer pseudoplatanus) keysAsh keys and leaves, 2008, Rob WoltonRose - Dog, stems, leaves and hips, 2008, Rob Wolton

Shrubs and trees (leaves and flowers)

The cones and leaves of our native alder, Alnus glutinosa.Aspen, a native poplar (Populus termula) occasionally found in hedges, often turns brilliant yellows and reds in the autumnThe female catkins of the aspen tree.  Aspen trees are either male or female;The characteristic rounded shape of the aspen leaf.  Note flattened leaf stalk which explain why the leaves qiver in the slightest breeze.The female catkins of the aspen tree.  Aspen trees are either male or female;Beech leavesSilver birch.  Note hairless twig, separating this species from the downy birch (Betula pubescens)Downy birch (Betula pubescens) twig.  Note downy hairs on twig which give the tree its name and separate it from the silver birch (Betula pendula)In April, blackthorn can be covered in white blossom provided it has not been cut recently.  Later the pollinated flowers will produce sloes.In April, blackthorn can be covered in white blossom provided it has not been cut last recently.  Later the pollinated flowers will produce sloes.Blackthorn berries (sloes) and leaves, Emily Ledder, Natural EnglandBlackthorn berries (sloes) and leaves, Emily Ledder, Natural EnglandWild cherry (Prunus avium) leavesThe beautiful flowers of the crab apple (Mallus sylvestris), a tree often found in hedgerows.The Devonian whitebeam is a rare tree found in southern Britain and nowhere else in the world.  Also known as French Hales, it occurs in Devon hedges.Elm used to be a major tree in the British lansdscape but mature specimens are now rare due to Dutch elm disease.  However, small trees and suckering growth are still common.  This is the English Elm, Ulmus procera.  Note that leaves on mature growth and Elm used to be a major tree in the British lansdscape but mature specimens are now rare due to Dutch elm disease.  However, small trees and suckering growth are still common.  This is the English Elm, Ulmus procera.  Note that leaves on mature growth and The smooth leaved elm (Ulmus minor) is a frequent plant in hedgerows in some parts of the country.  Note the glossy leaves.The English oak (Quercus robur) is one of two native oak species.  The other is the Sessile, or Durmast, oak (Quercus petraea).European gorse (Ulex europaeus) is often found in hedges, particularly in coastal hedges in Devon and Cornwall.The guelder-rose (Viburnum opulus) is a frequent shrub in hedges on more acid soils.The flowers of the hawthorn (Crataegus monogyna) are known as May blossom since they appear in that month.  Later they develop into red berries known as haws.Hawthorn berries and leaves, Emily Ledder, Natural EnglandHawthorn berries and leaves, Emily Ledder, Natural EnglandHawthorn berries and leaves, Emily Ledder, Natural EnglandHawthorn blossom, Dave Key, Natural EnglandHornbeam (Carpinus betulus) can be locally common in hedges, particularly in the south-east.Ivy (Hedera helix) can frequently be found climbing up hedgerow trees and shrubs.  It is not parasitic and causes little damage to its host.  The flowers are very good for insects, especially  hoverflies, and the berries provide very valuable late winter The wild pear (Pyrus pyraster) is a rather rare tree sometimes found in hedgerows.  The fruit are unfortunately inedible.Hips, the fruits of dog rose, Rosa caninaThe Wild Service tree (Sorbus torminalis) is occasionally found in ancient hedgerows.The Wild Service tree (Sorbus torminalis) is occasionally found in ancient hedgerows.The eared willow (Salix aurita) is occasionally found in hedgerows growing on wetter soils in the West country.  Note the large ear-like growths, or auricles, at the junction between leaf stalk and twig.The goat willow (Salix capraea) is fairly frequent in hedges on wet soils. Note rather large roundish leaves.The grey willow (Salix cinerea) is the commonest willow, or sallow or withy, found in hedgerows.  Like the other species, it picks out wetter soils.Pussy willow is the term given to male grey and goat willows when they are flowering, producing masses of these colourful catkins.Willows, like this female grey willow (Salix cinerea), can produce masses of seeds, each supported by a plume of white down, in the early summer.  They can drift in the wind a long from their parent plant.

Using the library

You may use the photographs in the hedgelink photo library freely, but please acknowledge hedgelink and the photographer. If no photographer is specified, please email Robert Wolton

Downloading photos

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Further resources

Hedgerow Survey Toolkit

This toolkit was developed to support a major hedgerow survey of the Princethorpe Living Landscape Zone in east Warwickshire in the 2012-2013 period, which was being carried out by Warwickshire Wildlife Trust with funding from SITA Trust. The toolkit is designed to assist hedgerow surveys undertaken anywhere in the UK and images have been carefully selected to show the sorts of hedgerow features and hedgerow plants you are most likely to encounter. It can be used in conjunction with the Defra Hedgerow Survey Handbook Hedgerow Survey Handbook.

View the toolkit on Flickr

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