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Hedgerow harvesting machinery trials report

The Organic Research Centre

Abstract

Hedgerows are a prevalent feature across Western Europe, with an estimated 700,000 km or 435,000 miles in Great Britain alone (Wolton, 2015). They have significant cultural and historical value and provide many functions and benefits within the landscape, including sheltering crops and livestock, supporting wildlife and linking habitats, controlling erosion and visually enhancing the landscape. Traditionally, hedges also provided a variety of wood products including firewood, but as labour became more expensive and wood was replaced by fossil fuels the practice of managing hedges for firewood was lost. Managing hedges for woodfuel through coppicing therefore provides an opportunity to rejuvenate old hedges, restoring not only their economic role but their value to the wider landscape. Despite increasing interest in managing hedges for woodfuel, there is limited data and knowledge regarding the productivity, practicality and logistics of such systems.

Author(s): Chambers, M, Crossland, M, Westaway, S, Smith, J

Journal: The Organic Research Centre

Year: 2015

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