A Survey of Warsop's Hedgerows
|Dos and Don’ts of Hedgerow Management|
|Local Hedgerow Wildlife at Risk|
An explanation of some of the terms used in the text.
Enclosure: The series of Acts of Parliament, mainly passed between 1750 and 1860, which enclosed open fields and common land, removing rights of local people to cultivate, graze or collect wood.
Flailed: Hedgerow cut using a tractor-mounted flail. Branches in flailed hedges may be shattered or smashed at the ends.
Gap: Any section of a hedgerow that is not occupied by woody vegetation and is under 20m in length
Leggy hedgerow: Hedgerow that is ‘thin’ at and near the base with few or no horizontal branches and leafy shoots.
Laid hedgerow: A hedgerow that has had its stems partially cut through, near the base, and then bent and positioned to form a barrier. Recognised by the horizontal or diagonal angle of the larger stems in the hedgerow
Standard tree: A hedgerow tree with a single stem that has been left to grow.
Dos and Don’ts of Hedgerow Management
Do trim sections on at least a three-year rotation. This ensures that thick nesting
cover and insect habitat is available somewhere on the site every year, and reduces
management time and cost. Sections should be blocks across the hedgerow, as some
species are restricted to one side of a hedge. Furthermore, many insects depend
on the tips of hedgerow branches, so cutting an entire hedge at once may render
those with an annual life cycle locally extinct.
Do undertake trimming work in December or January. Management at the wrong time of the year can disturb breeding birds and remove fruit - an important winter food.
Do consider leaving one or two hedges untrimmed for up to ten years then re-shaping using a sharp circular saw attachment.
Do allow the hedge to increase in height by up to 10cm at each cut thus avoiding severe damage to branches.
Do undertake winter restoration work, e.g. traditional hedgelaying or coppicing and planting up gaps where necessary to prevent hedges becoming ‘gappy’ and losing base structure. Bats are unable to use hedges as a feeding corridor where gaps along the hedge length are too wide.
Do keep, plant and replace mature hedgerow trees, which are important for species such as barn owls and bats. Tag young trees during flailing, to ensure they are not cut.
Do leave field margins alongside hedges.
Do consider the shape of your hedge - an A-shaped hedge is good for birds such as yellowhammers, and for hibernating rodents.
Don’t cut hedges too low - this will eventually damage the hedgerow and result in loss of habitat. A minimum of 1.5m is recommended but the higher the better.
Don’t cut hedges in large blocks - gaps are too large for insects to cross to reach their food source.
Don’t remove dead standing trees - these are important feeding and roosting sites. If health and safety is an issue, consider other forms of management, e.g. crown reduction.
Don’t cut undergrowth or hedges can become leggy at the base, minimising shelter.
Don’t strim the base of hedgerows or disturb the leaf litter - this is an important refuge for many animals and rare hedgerow plants.
From Managing Hedges for Biodiversity - A good practice guide for landowners and managers published by Nottinghamshire Biodiversity Action Group
Local Hedgerow Wildlife at Risk
Examples of species of conservation concern that are likely to benefit from good hedgerow management
|Kestrel||Grey partridge||Turtle dove|
|Barn owl||Dunnock||Lesser whitethroat|
|Song thrush||Yellowhammer||Reed bunting|
|Hedgehog||Common shrew||Daubenton’s bat|
|Brown long-eared bat||Pipistrelle bat||Noctule bat|
|Brown hare||Harvest mouse||Badger|
|Butterflies and moths|
|Small eggar||Scarce vapourer||Brown hairstreak|
|Purple hairstreak||White-letter hairstreak|
Information from Nottinghamshire Biodiversity Action Group -
(0115) 977 4213 - www.nottsbag.org.uk
Species identified along the hedgerows of Upper Cross Lane (off Cherry Grove) during a survey on 8th June 1999
|Bracken||Broadleaved Dock||Broadleaved Plantain|
|Bugle||Bulbous Buttercup||Cats Ear|
|Cleavers||Cocksfoot||Common Field Speedwell|
|Common Hemp Nettle||Common Poppy||Common Storksbill|
|Common Vetch||Cow Parsley||Creeping Buttercup|
|Creeping Cinquefoil||Creeping Thistle||Dog Rose|
|Elder||False Oat||Field Bindweed|
|Field Maple||Field Pansy||Field Scabious|
|Foxglove||Germander Speedwell||Greater Stitchwort|
|Honeysuckle||Lesser Burdock||Lesser Stitchwort|
|Nettle||Pedunculate Oak||Perennial Ryegrass|
|Pineapple Weed||Rosebay Willow Herb||Rough Hawkbit|
|Sheep Sorrel||Shepherds Purse||Small Teasel|
|Smooth Sow Thistle||Wavy Hairgrass||White Clover (Crucifer)|
|Wych Elm||(55 species)|
Oliver Rackham: The History of the Countryside (J M Dent & Sons 1986)
Oliver Rackham: Trees and Woodland in the British Landscape (J M Dent & Sons 1976)
Francis Pryor: The Making of the British Landscape (Allen Lane 2010)
Sanderson’s 1835 map of Twenty Miles round Mansfield (ISBN 0 902751 42 5 / ISBN 0 902751 43 3)
Ordnance Survey Maps: 1885, 1920, 1955 (all 1:10560) and 1984 (1:10000). Available from www.old-maps.co.uk
Warsop Enclosure Map (Ref: EA/6/1) Nottinghamshire Archives
RSPB website –
website - www.hedgelink.org.uk www.hedgelink.org.uk
Research and Surveys –
Hedgerow Management And Wildlife
A review of research on the effects of hedgerow management and adjacent land on biodiversity
Contract report to Defra, Edited by C J Barr, C P Britt,T H Sparks and J M Churchward
Importance of Hedges –
The importance of hedgerows and the services they provide to society.