Productive hedges: Guidance on bringing Britain’s hedges back into the farm business
How to make the most of hedgerows and bring them back into the farm business
Hedgerows are an important part of the cultural landscape of lowland Britain. Traditional management provided a variety of hedgerow products, which included firewood, but as labour become more expensive and fossil fuels more available, this practice was lost. On today’s farm, hedges mark field boundaries whilst also providing shelter for crops and livestock, important habitats for farmland biodiversity and contributing to soil and water management. However, as a resource most hedges are underutilised and are either cut back annually or are neglected altogether; both practices are eventually detrimental, and hedges need periodic rejuvenation by either laying or coppicing to sustain them into the future.
Author(s): S.Westaway, J.Smith