The wildlife charity People’s Trust for Endangered Species (PTES) has launched a brand-new ‘Healthy Hedgerows’ app, aimed at farmers and land managers that want to make – or adjust – their hedgerow management plans to grow the healthiest of hedges.
Designed for farmers, landowners and land managers, this free app enables users to find out where hedges are within their natural lifecycle and offers instant feedback on how they can be best managed to ensure their continued health.
Trying to manage hedgerows according to their quite complex lifecycle, especially across a whole farm, is a challenge. This app strips away these complexities and simply asks just six easy questions to rapidly assess each hedge, making the task of creating a farm scale management plan much easier.
PTES hopes this will help farmers create a thriving network of healthy hedges that criss-cross the UK’s countryside, ensuring these iconic and hugely important habitats continue to benefit both those working on the land, but also the many species that call hedgerows home.
Megan Gimber, Key Habitats Project Officer at PTES, explains: “The quality and structure of hedgerows will deteriorate if they’re managed in the same way for long periods of time, and over time they will eventually be lost. The best way to prevent this is by managing according to their lifecycle, which may include more sensitive trimming, periods of non-intervention and, in time, rejuvenation.
“Whatever condition a hedge is in, it can be brought back to good health. Our new app pinpoints where it is in its lifecycle and the best management options to adopt to get the most benefit for the farm and its precious wildlife.”
The app is part of the new ‘Close the Gap’ project, a year-long programme focused on achieving bigger, healthier, better-connected hedgerows. It is a partnership project with The Tree Council, Peoples Trust for Endangered Species, Farming and Wildlife Advisory Group, Moor Trees, University of Reading, Hedgelink, the Royal Parks Guild and the Worshipful Company of Gardeners.
Close the Gap is funded by the Government’s Green Recovery Challenge Fund. The fund is being delivered by The National Lottery Heritage Fund in partnership with Natural England and the Environment Agency.
You can download the app for free.