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Hedges. I. Introduction and Reconnaissance Studies

Journal of Applied Ecology (British Ecological Society)


Hedgerows are an important habitat for wildlife in the British Isles; according to Locke (1962) there were about 616 000 miles of hedge in Great Britain in 1962. Assuming that the average width of the hedges was 2 yd, they covered 448 000 ac, which was more than twice the acreage of the National Nature Reserves at that time. Yet a survey of the literature shows that the habitat, and the nature of its flora and fauna, have received relatively little attention. The ecological importance of hedges and waysides was recognized by Bates (1937) but his main concern was with waysides. He described their general features and suggested the reasons for or explanations of the floristic successions observed. Later Hartke (1951), using aerial photographs, described the main types of field boundary found in different areas of England. Alexander (1932) and Chapman (1939) showed the importance of hedges for birds, and Elton (1958) made a plea for their conservation on aesthetic, scientific and economic grounds. (See also the addendum to 'References', p. 220.)

Author(s): Moore, NW, Hooper, MD, and Davis, BNK

Journal: Journal of Applied Ecology (British Ecological Society)

Year: 1967