Conservation of hedgerows:
Hedgerows were removed in large numbers in the second half of the last century across the country, including to an extent in Barnsley.
Although the Hedgerow Regulations, introduced in 1997, protect hedgerows against removal, neglect and a lack of positive management continue to slash the value of hedgerows and affect whether they survive. In addition the threat of removal has not gone away.
Factors causing hedgerow loss or decline
Flailing and cutting hedgerows requires careful timing and method to provide a diverse hedgerow habitat and good hedgerow structure.
Hedgerow Regulations 1997.
Hedgerows that are important from an archaeological, historical, landscape or biodiversity perspective are protected by the Hedgerow Regulations.
Under the Hedgerows Regulations 1997, it is illegal to remove or destroy these hedgerows without permission from the local planning authority. See below for criteria.
Hedgerows may also be protected by local planning policies for particular sites and by being associated with Local Wildlife Sites.
Specific trees in hedgerows may be protected by Tree Protection Orders (TPO)
The majority of well-managed hedgerows will be thick and dense, without gaps, and with a strip of uncultivated ground alongside.
They will be trimmed no more than every 2 to 3 years, cut slightly higher each time.
Hedgerow BAP favourable condition
Size: ≥1m high; ≥1.5m wide; 3m xsection
Gaps: ≤ 10% gaps; no gaps ≥5m wide;
base of hedge canopy ≤0.5m above ground
≥2m undisturbed ground /≥1m herbaceous cover alongside hedge
≤ 20% cover of nettles, cleavers and docks within 2m band alongside hedge
≤ 10% non-native woody species / ≤ 10% non-native herbaceous species
Hedgelink and PTES give useful information and advice on hedgerow management and surveys.
PTES’s Great British Hedgerow Survey classes hedges as being dense and well managed; too frequently or over-trimmed, tall and overgrown; or being recently planted or rejuvenated by laying or coppicing.