Catchment Sensitive Farming: Practical Tips

Practical Tip: Hedges

Modern farming methods have enabled a wider range of steeper slopes to be used for crops, resulting in a progressive increase in field size and the loss of native habitats including hedgerows.

Removing the vegetation breaks on longer slopes has increased the risk of erosion and run-off. Establishing new hedgerows can help to reduce this risk, as well as, reduce costs, improve soil productivity, increase yields and enhance habitat diversity.

New hedges should be used on long slopes to reduce the length of the slope, they should be aligned with the contour and associated with ditches or banks for maximum impact on run-off and soil erosion.

These information sheets and case studies, produced by the West Country Rivers Trust, provide further advice on the establishment of new hedges and hedgerow management:

Another example of the costs associated with hedgerow planting can be found in the Upper Wharfedale Best Practice project.

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