DWT needs help to fight hedgerow decline in Dorset
Friday 21st October 2016
Dorset Wildlife Trust (DWT) is launching an urgent campaign to raise money to allow its winter hedgerow maintenance work to continue in Dorset. Hedgerows provide habitat and food for up to 3,000 species of wildlife, including dormice, bats and hedgehogs.
The wildlife charity needs to raise £30,000 to ensure work such as 1,000m of hedgelaying, 3,200m of hedgerow trimming and 1,300m of protective hedge fencing can be carried out this winter. Hedgerows have dramatically declined in the UK since WW2*.
Hedges are an iconic part of the Dorset landscape
DWT’s Head of Land Management, Rob Brunt, said, “Hedges are an iconic part of the Dorset landscape and they need to be managed properly if they are to continue to benefit wildlife. They are used as corridors for wildlife to travel through safely, provide shelter and homes, and are also an important source of food. Due to changes in our funding, we need to raise £30,000 to plant new hedgerows and maintain existing ones. Our concern is that already declining wildlife will suffer if we are unable to carry out this work.”
Hedgerows can help declining wildlife
The State of Nature report, published in September 2016, revealed that many of our once common wildlife species are in decline, such as the hedgehog, which will benefit from good numbers of well-maintained hedgerows for protection, shelter and food.
Wildlife such as dormice can depend on hedgerows for survival
Other vulnerably endangered species of wildlife which depend on hedgerows include dormice, who need safe nesting and hibernating sites to survive the winter. 1,500 insects, 65 birds and 20 mammals, most species of bat and even the great crested newt all require a well-connected network of hedges to thrive in.
DWT needs to replace trees which have been damaged by disease
DWT also needs to plant new hedgerow trees to replace the trees which have been removed or severely damaged by disease. It is predicted that in the next 5-15 years the recent ash dieback disease (Chalara dieback) is expected to kill most ashes in Dorset. Ash trees are Dorset’s second most common hedgerow tree, which are vital to maintain the biodiversity of the hedgerow.
Find out more and support hedgerows in Dorset
To find out more and support DWT’s winter hedgerow work, please visit our donation page where you can donate securely, or alternatively phone 01305 264620 to make your donation.
*Since the Second World War, the UK’s ancient hedgerows have dramatically declined due to removal to increase field size and make way for development. By the 1990s, 121,000km of hedgerows had been lost across the UK. Neglect and poor management are major problems and many of the UK’s hedgerows are in poor condition as a result of the decline of traditional management techniques like hedgelaying.
For more information please contact Sally Welbourn at Dorset Wildlife Trust on 01305 264620.
Working for a secure future for Dorset’s wildlife enriching the quality of life
Dorset Wildlife Trust works to champion wildlife and natural places, to engage and inspire people and to promote sustainable living. Founded in 1961, DWT is now the largest voluntary nature conservation organisation in Dorset, with over 26,000 members and over 44 nature reserves. Most are open daily and there are visitor centres providing a wealth of wildlife information at Brooklands Farm, Lorton Meadows, Kingcombe Meadows and Brownsea Island Nature Reserves, The Purbeck Marine Wildlife Reserve and the Urban Wildlife Centre at Upton Heath Nature Reserve. DWT plays a key role in dealing with local environmental issues and leads the way in establishing the practices of sustainable development and engaging new audiences in conservation, particularly in the urban areas.
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