Press release: Six simple steps to create flourishing hedgerows

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Free advice available to farmers and land managers on how to maintain this iconic habitat throughout prime hedgerow management season and beyond

This autumn and winter, wildlife charity People’s Trust for Endangered Species (PTES) is offering free hedgerow management advice to farmers, landowners, and land managers across the UK. Following just six steps will make creating landscape-level hedgerow management plans much easier.

The aim is to restore, and create, a thriving network of healthy hedgerows across the countyside in a bid to ensure the long-term survival and continued health of every UK hedgerow. This not only benefits those working on the land but the myriad native wildlife that call these iconic and hugely important living habitats home too.

The charity’s hedgerow management advice is available via PTES’ free Healthy Hedgerows app (available via the Apple Store or Google Play). By answering just six questions the app carries out a quick hedgerow health check and which tells users where their hedgerows are within the natural lifecycle. It offers bespoke management recommendations for each hedge and advises which hedges to prioritise for rejuvenation when creating or adjusting their hedgerow management plans.

Sarah Barnsley, Hedgerow Officer at PTES explains: “Autumn and winter are the best times of year to assess the health of a hedgerow. The hedge is dormant, and without its leaves you can see its structure and indicators that might show change is needed. It’s also the perfect time for trimming, coppicing and hedge laying. But knowing what management work to do first, and when, is key to their long-term survival.”

Healthy Hedgerows has been downloaded over 2,000 times and used to health-check over 800 hedges (spanning 108km) since its launch last year. This is a fantastic start, but as there’s about 500,000km of hedgerow criss-crossing our countryside much more work is needed. Hedges will only be healthy long-term through careful management which changes over time. We know farmers, landowners and land managers are busy, which is why we’ve produced this app to make hedgerow management as easy and efficient as possible.”.

Sarah continues: “Sadly, about half of the UK’s hedgerows have been lost over the last century through incentivised removal, which makes those that remain even more valuable. We hope our app will help secure a positive future for our hedgerows.”

Hedgerows are countryside icons, and are vital habitats for much of our native wildlife, from hedgehogs and hazel dormice to bats and birds. They are safe navigational corridors, nesting sites and provide food. One study even found 2,000+ species within an 85m stretch of hedge in Devon!

Hedgerows are a huge asset to farmers and land managers too. They offer crop protection, and act as stock barriers and livestock shelters. They can provide income and benefit the environment by acting as carbon stores. They help to reduce flooding, soil erosion, air and water pollution levels too.

To further help the rural community to maintain this precious habitat, PTES offers free training courses. Each is in line with the hedgerow management lifecycle, which is based on the 10-point scale developed by Nigel Adams and HedgeLink. To sign up to a training course this winter, or to find out more, click here.

Download the free Healthy Hedgerows app at Apple Store or Google Play or see more information at:

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For high res images, interview requests or further information, please contact Adela Cragg:
T: 07532 685 614

Notes to Editors

Available for interview
• Sarah Barnsley, Hedgerow Officer, PTES
• Jill Nelson, CEO, PTES

About PTES
PTES, a UK conservation charity created in 1977, is ensuring a future for endangered species throughout the world. We protect some of our most threatened wildlife species and habitats, and provide practical conservation support through research, grant-aid, educational programmes, wildlife surveys, publications and public events.
• PTES’ current priority species and habitats include hazel dormice, hedgehogs, water voles, noble chafers, stag beetles, traditional orchards, native woodlands, wood pasture and parkland and hedgerows.
• PTES has Species Champions for three of its priority species: for hedgehogs The Rt Hon Chris Grayling, MP for Epsom & Ewell, for water voles The Rt Hon Hilary Benn, MP for Leeds Central and for dormice The Rt Hon Matt Hancock, MP for West Suffolk.
• Visit and follow PTES on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube & LinkedIn.

About Healthy Hedgerows
• The Healthy Hedgerows app was created as part of the ‘Close the Gap’ project, which was a national partnership project to increase and improve hedgerows. It was led by The Tree Council and funded by the Government’s Green Recovery Challenge Fund being delivered by The National Lottery Heritage Fund in partnership with Natural England and the Environment Agency.

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We'd love to tell you about our conservation work through our regular newsletter Wildlife World, and also how you can save endangered species through volunteering, taking action or donating. You must be 18 or over. The information that you provide will be held by People’s Trust for Endangered Species. For information on how PTES processes personal data, please see our privacy policy.

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