Hedgerows are not only an essential habitat, providing food and shelter for numerous species of insects, small animals, bees and birds, they offer a stock-proof boundary for farmers and play a vital part in carbon sequestration.
It is no surprise then, that within our Fair to Nature Standard, hedgerows are included under the ‘Wildlife-rich, field boundaries and margins’ and count towards the minimum 10% habitat area on a Fair to Nature certified farm.
The visible loss of nature in Britain is a worrying consequence of our actions, as, in our lifetimes, almost half our farmland birds, mammals, amphibians, insects and invertebrates have disappeared, along with 97% of our wildflower meadows. The consequences however, of this wildlife decline go beyond simply the loss of nature; the destruction of these critical ecosystems, which are essential to farming, will have a negative and long-term impact on food production.
Actively encouraging a rich biodiversity, where nature can thrive, is key to the future of our food supply, after all, without nature, there is no food.
So, during this ‘biodiversity crisis’ what you do to help is critical for the preservation of wildlife and countryside habitats, which shall give us a continued supply of food.
Hedgerow preservation plays a crucial part in that process, providing a vital source of food and shelter for many species, vital to the future landscape of our food supply.
A healthy hedgerow will have an abundance of flowering plants and berry crops, essential for pollen and nectar for our bees and butterflies. Wild cherry and bramble, for example, ensures a food source for insects through the spring and summer months and, in turn, the insects attracted to these flowers, feed the farmland birds and small mammals.
During the harsher autumn and winter, fruits such as sloe, rose hip, blackberry, cherry, elderberry provide rich pickings for wildlife, sustaining them until spring arrives again.
Not only that but our beautiful hedgerows offer protection and wildlife corridors for safe passage between habitats and act as a windbreak, protecting against the damaging effects of soil erosion.
Please educate yourselves and others during #NationalHedgerowWeek, recognising the importance of healthy and abundant hedgerows in our ecosystem and the vital part they play in preserving our future. After all, tomorrow is grown from our actions today.
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Tomorrow is grown from our actions today
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