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Welsh ESA field-margins and hedges - BD0407

Although the Dyfed area of Wales has a high diversity of shrubs and trees in its hedge population, it also has some of the highest densities of overgrazed and derelict hedges. Some replanting has been performed using Eastern European hawthorn; however, this plant is considered inappropriate due to its open habit and lack of thorns. In contrast, native strains have been shown to be superior in terms of growth rate, morphology (bushy with dense thorns) and disease resistance, and are hence more cost effective. Welsh and western field margins often comprise earth banks occasionally faced with stone. These are particularly valuable for fauna (e.g. lizard and butterfly species) and flora (e.g. many meadow and woodland herb species) and, as such, guidelines for their maintenance are required. This study is composed of 3 specific objectives outlined as follows, together with ways in which they might be achieved: 1. To evaluate a range of native provenances of a number of shrub and tree species in terms of their potential for hedge planting in Welsh ESAs. A range of native shrub and tree species will be collected from Welsh sites, propagated and multiplied. Trials will then be set up to compare the establishment, growth and morphology of hedges, both within and between species, and in comparison with commercially available material; 2. To identify key landscape and management variables influencing diversity within Welsh hedges. Multivariate statistical analyses in conjunction with survey work will be carried out to relate hedge species diversity to management prescriptions and other elements of the landscape; and 3. To refine current guidelines for establishing and managing hedges in Welsh ESAs. Results from a field margin experiment will be used to revise hedge/field margin management guidelines.
Time-Scale and Cost
From: 1994

To: 1997

Cost: £60,822
Contractor / Funded Organisations
ADAS UK Ltd., Institute of Grassland and Environment Research (IGER)
Fields of Study
Environmental Stewardship