Surveys: Hedgerow

Hedgerows form an important part of the British landscape. Some hedgerows can be hundreds of years old, and very species diverse. They provide excellent habitats for a variety of wildlife including dormice and nesting birds. Some hedgerows are protected under the Hedgerows Regulations 1997. There are certain criteria they must meet in order to gain this legal protection.

One of the most important criteria for meeting the Regulations is the number of woody species present within the hedgerow. This includes species such as gelder rose Viburnum opulus, hawthorn Crataegus monogyna, small-leaved lime Tilia cordata, hazel Corylus avellana and field maple Acer campestre. Hedgerows must be at least 30 years old if they qualify for protection.

If you think that your development may impact a hedgerow (for example, you may want to remove it, reduce its size, build adjacent to it) you may be committing an offence if you disturb it. You must therefore seek professional advice if you are unsure how to proceed. BlueSky Ecology can advise clients on hedgerow legislation and conduct surveys to assess the ecological importance of any hedgerows on your site.