Hedgerows form important green highways in our landscape and are defined as any boundary line of trees or shrubs over 20m long and less than 5m wide, and where any gaps between the trees or shrub species are less that 20m wide. All hedgerows consisting predominantly (i.e. 80% or more cover) of at least one woody UK native species are a priority habitat. A hedgerow may also be protected under the Hedgerow Regulations 1997.
Our ecologists have undertaken hundreds of hedgerow surveys in association with habitat surveys for linear projects such as road or pipeline schemes and we are able to establish the ‘ecological value’ of hedgerows in accordance with the 1997 Regulations and also utilise the Hedgerow Evaluation and Grading System (HEGS) which provides a rapid assessment of habitat quality grading on a scale from +1 to -4 (with +1 being the highest ecological quality).
Hedgerow surveys will often be requested by Local Planning Authorities prior to granting hedgerow removal notices. Removal of hedgerows designated as important under the regulations may be restricted. Where the removal of important hedgerows cannot be avoided, hedgerow translocations can be implemented. This is where sections are removed and replanted, either temporarily or permanently.