2008 Hedgerow Award Scheme
WHAT’S SO SPECIAL ABOUT HEDGEROWS?
Did you know that there’s a bigger area of wildlife habitat in all of our hedgerows than there is in all the country’s nature reserves put together? Or that the oldest hedgerow still growing was planted over 900 years ago?
How old are the hedgerows near you?
Count how many species of tress and shrubs there are within 30 yards. As a general rule, the number of species, excluding Elder, roughly equals 100 years. If you count five species, the hedge is 500 years old.
If you aren't able to count the species, there are a few other age indicators you could use.
• Since 1700, most new hedges have run in exactly straight lines. So, a sinuous length in an otherwise straight hedge may indicate that part of a pre-existing hedge has been retained in a reorganisation of fields.
• A post-1800 hedge usually has its original row of hawthorns still discernible, while an ancient hedge often has giant coppice stools or pollard trees.
• 15% of our native stock of broad-leaved trees
• 600 species of flowering plants
• 1,500 species of insect
• 65 species of birds
• 20 species of mammal
They also add a great deal to the beauty and character of our local landscapes.
For all these reasons, Cheshire CPRE is keen to protect and enhance our hedges.
HEDGEROW AWARD SCHEME - Cheshire CPRE, in partnership with Cheshire Landscape Trust
After running its successful Hedgerow Awards scheme for over 15 years, Cheshire CPRE has joined forces with Cheshire Landscape Trust this year, to enable the scheme to grow.
Cheshire Landscape Trust shares our interest in hedgerows, as the charity manages the Biodiversity Action Plan for the county,
When the scheme began, Cheshire was losing hedgerows at an alarming rate, mostly in areas of high quality agricultural land. Since then, CPRE has been at the forefront of a revival in our lovely field boundaries.
The Hedgerow Award scheme is not just for farmers. This year’s winners include a primary school, two hedge-cutting contractors, and a charitable trust.
Anyone who owns or cares for a field hedgerow can enter. And the scheme is not just about rewarding the very best: the idea is to advise and encourage, so all entrants receive a full report after the inspection visit, with recommendations on how to improve if the hedgerow does not yet meet the very high standard required.
Entries for the 2008 Awards close on 31st January 2008. Click here for an application form.