Hedgerows are important habitats for a variety of species, such as commuting and feeding routes for bats and shelter for nesting birds. Some hedges may qualify as ‘important hedges’ under the Hedgerow Regulations, requiring consent from the local authority for their removal (except where the removal is part of development for which planning permission has already been granted).
Hedgerows classified under the Hedgerow Regulations include those on or adjoining common land, village greens, Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI), National Nature Reserves, Special Protection Areas under the Bird’s Directive, Special Areas of Conservation under the Habitats Directive, Local Nature Reserves or land used for agriculture, forestry or breeding/keeping horses, ponies or donkeys. Garden hedges and hedges around industrial developments are excluded from the Hedgerow Regulations.
Species-rich hedges that do not qualify as ‘important hedges’ under the Hedgerow Regulations could qualify as a Priority Habitat (Section 41 NERC) under the definition for hedges that have more than 80% native species and likely to be of conservation importance.
Therefore, it is often a requirement for a hedgerow survey to be conducted by a qualified ecologist in order to remain within statutory regulations. OpenSpace have staff experienced in undertaking hedgerow surveys, as well as in designing and implementing hedgerow management plans.
If you have a project requiring a hedgerow survey then call us on 01228 711841 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.