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Hedgerows Help preserve the character of the Parish

By C Emmett (Parish Clerk) Upper Clatford

Wednesday, 23 December 2020

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Please see below an article written for the Upper Clatford Neighbourhood Development Plan which highlights the importance of hedgerows.

The name Clatford originates from the Old English ‘ford where the burdock grows’. As this plant is a
common constituent of UK hedgerows (Swale, 2014), the importance of these habitats was as much
historically as it is today (Burgess, 1868; Greig, 1994).
Hedgerows are listed as a priority habitat in the UK Biodiversity Action Plan (BAP). They are defined
as any boundary line of trees or shrubs over 20m long and less than 5m wide (Bickmore, 2002). Over
130 BAP floral and faunal species are found in hedgerows, showing their importance for supporting
biodiversity. They also contribute to flood management, reduce pollution of watercourses, and
reduce the spread of bovine Tuberculosis, a disease which is predicted to cost £1 billion over the
next 10 years (Wood Wise, 2014). Hedgerows are valued by a wide cross-section of society (Pollard
et al., 1974; Oreszczyn & Lane, 2000), and provide direct benefit to humans providing fruit such as
blackberries, as can be seen across the parish, and by acting as natural screens to protect privacy
and hide unpleasant developments.
As preserving the character of the parish is of such high value to the residents of Upper Clatford and
Anna Valley, hedgerows are preferable to unnatural structures which could provide similar screening
services (Baudry et al., 2000). This is especially important to assist in mitigating the national decline
of hedgerows. Half of all hedgerows were lost from 1940-1970 due to agricultural intensification,
and more recently they have suffered destabilisation due to Dutch Elm disease and Ash dieback,
which affect two of their most abundant tree species (Wood wise, 2014).
The Hampshire Landscape: strategy for the future (HCC, 2007) encourages the protection and
restoration of hedgerows in order to preserve landscape character and diversity, and provide
guidelines for management in line with the Hedgerow Regulations made under Section 97 of the
Environment Act 1995.
Rules on removal of hedgerows can be found here:
https://www.gov.uk/guidance/countryside-hedgerows-regulation-and-management

Contact Information

C Emmett (Parish Clerk)

  • 07899640308

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