The Rusland Horizons Landscape Partnership worked with volunteers and apprentices to survey the extent, distribution and condition of hedgerows in the area, with follow-up hedge restoration and new planting projects.
Hedgerows are important for wildlife and are recognised as priority habitats for conservation. They link habitats, allowing animals to move more safely through landscapes undercover, encouraging them to do so more freely. Hedgerows can also be crucial for dormice and are one of their favoured places to breed.
Cumbria Wildlife Trust trained and worked with volunteers and apprentices to carry out a comprehensive hedgerow survey of much of the scheme area. It was the first time such research had been done and provided a valuable opportunity to gain baseline information and a clear indication of the issues affecting local hedgerows. The survey gave an insight into the condition, characteristics and what restoration might be needed in order to inform future conservation work. The scheme area is now one of the best mapped areas for hedgerow in the country.
In addition to surveying, with the valuable contribution of volunteers and apprentices, the project restored several hedges within the area by carrying out traditional laying techniques. New hedgerows were also planted at several locations around the scheme area which will contribute considerably to the area’s landscape in years to come.
- Production of an information guide that has helped to inform and engage the community about everything hedgerow related.
- The information guide, and digital map, provide an understanding of the condition and characteristics of hedgerows in the Rusland Horizons area.
- Greater appreciation within the local community of the values, benefits and issues associated with this type of habitat.