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Review of hedges - BD0408

BD0408. Welsh ESA field-margins and hedges.

The Dyfed area of Wales contains high shrub and tree species diversity in some of its field margin and hedge areas. Paradoxically, Dyfed also has some of the highest densities of both overgrazed and derelict hedges; high priority has been placed on the renovation and replanting of hedges in the worst affected areas. Much of the replanting is being made with Eastern European hawthorn, which has inappropriate morphology (too open in habitat and lacking in thorns). Native strains of hawthorn have been shown to be superior in terms of growth rate, morphology and disease resistance; these strains are considered to be more cost effective in the long term. This study will be composed of 3 specific objectives outlined as follows, together with ways in which they might be achieved: 1. Evaluation of a range of native provenances of a number of shrub and tree species in terms of their potential for hedge planting in Environmentally Sensitive Areas (ESAs) of Wales. This would entail the collection, propagation and multiplication of a range of native shrub and tree species from Welsh sites. A spaced plant trial would be set up to compare establishment, growth and morphology in terms of hedge-planting potential, both within and between the species, and in comparison with commercially available material; 2. Identification of key landscape and management variables influencing diversity within Welsh hedges. A large amount of existing survey data on woody-species diversity of relocatable hedge lengths in north Dyfed would be subjected to multivariate statistical analyses in order to relate hedge species diversity adjacent managements and other elements in the landscape; and 3. Refinement of current guidelines for establishing and managing hedges in Welsh ESAs. A field margin experiment would be set up provisionally and subjected to various management treatments. Results will be used to revise hedge/field management guidelines.
Time-Scale and Cost
From: 1994

To: 1995

Cost: £24,000
Contractor / Funded Organisations
Natural Environment Research Council, ADAS UK Ltd.
Fields of Study
Environmental Stewardship