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Hedgerows matter

Blossom in the hedgerow near Eynsham Blossom in the hedgerow near Eynsham Photo: © Jane Tomlinson

Hedgerows are vital for the health of the countryside, but are sadly often overlooked. Many of them are thousands of years old. In a landscape increasingly eroded by monocultural farming practices, hedgerows are the pockets of biodiversity the countryside depends on.

Surveying the hedges

Several thousand records of hedgerow surveyed throughout Oxfordshire by CPRE members and others have now been transferred to the database held by the Thames Valley Environmental Records Centre (TVERC)

Many hedges can now be protected under The Hedgerow Regulations (DEFRA, 2002). The District Councils are keen to have access to our records before applications for hedgerow removal are received.

The Oxfordshire Local Biodiversity Action Plans have been devised to protect species and wildlife habitats. Recently they have been amended to include all hedgerows, irrespective of their species richness. Surveys of the county's hedgerows will be valuable for the protection of the numerous plants, birds, insects and mammals which depend on them for their food, nesting and shelter.

Many parishes in the county have few hedgerow surveys entered on the databases. These details are urgently required in order to promote the conservation and favourable management of this wildlife habitat and landscape component.

To find out if your parish has done a hedgerow survey contact: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., Oxfordshire Records Centre Manager, TVERC.

If you'd like to conduct a hedgerow survey you can find more about doing so here www.hedgelink.org.ukYou'll be asked to follow standard survey & reporting methods.

A Little Rough Guide around the Hedges

hedgesleafletcoverCPRE has produced a new pocket guidebook, A Little Rough Guide Around the Hedges, to celebrate the richness of our hedgerows, and to remind people of the importance of protecting England's hedgerows for future generations.

The booklet is packed with useful information including a handy pull-out centrespread with easy to use colour photographs that identify many of the plants that are common in English hedgerows. The guidebook is designed to be used by those with little or no knowledge of hedgerows to get them interested in their local landscape and its living heritage, and to get people out and about in their local countryside. It's lovely.

CPRE Oxfordshire is offering you a FREE copy of this guidebook. To get your copy please email your address to: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or phone us on: 01865 874780.

Local authority contacts in Oxfordshire

If you notice a problem with a hedge, please contact the relevant district council.

To apply to remove a hedge or to report a hedge that you think has been damaged or removed without permission, contact:

  • South Oxfordshire
  • Cherwell: 01295 252535 or 01295 252535
  • West Oxfordshire: 01993 861000 or 01993 861000
  • Vale of White Horse: 01235 520202 or 01235 520202

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