Do you realise that over 600 plant species, 1500 insect species, 65 birds and 20 mammal species have been recorded as living in hedges? More than 125 are rare wildlife species and no less than 20 of the 57 national priority bird species are associated with hedgerows. They have even been called Britain's largest nature reserve, a reserve 642,000 kilometres long.
Hedgerows are crucial to the survival of 10 of Britain's rarest mammals, providing food and enabling them to move through the landscape. These include several European Protected Species, notably the dormouse. Bats, including the greater horseshoe and barbastelle, also require well connected networks of hedgerows and many hundreds of moth species feed as caterpillars on hedgerow shrubs and their associated herbaceous margins.
It's not just the hedgerows that are important. The scarcity of young hedgerow trees coming up to replace mature ones when they die is a massive cause for concern. Across Great Britain in the ten years to 2007, the number of hedgerow trees fell by 3.9%. The future of our hedge trees is threatened unless we act now.
Consequently, The Tree Council is delighted to be working with the National Hedgelaying Society and Stella Artois to plant 73k of new hedges and more than 8,500 new hedge trees in communities across the UK. But even with this fantastic boost, we still have a long way to go. You can help in this process by making a donation to the real Hedge Fund.
Just click the online donation link and we're on our way. Thank you.