Hedgerows were used to retain stock in pasture and to mark out land ownership boundaries. In doing so a new habitat was created, one that mimicked some of the functions of native woodlands. Trees native to the region were planted or retained to form these long lines. Periodic cutting or laying created a dense growth that prevented stock roaming free while providing shelter from wind and rain. Often hedges were built on banks or alongside drainage ditches, creating further new habitats.
These hedge trees provide flowers, fruit and nest sites for many woodland mammals and birds in otherwise open and inhospitable habitats. The cover they provide allows birds, bats and mammals to cross these open areas and they are essential to link areas used for nesting and for foraging.
At the base of the hedge, cover is provided for woodland plants, while the open grasslands around have also brought in other species that thrive under the protection of the hedge.
For more information on hedgerows and their management see:
For information on hedgerows and planning in the National Park click here.
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