An absorbing celebration of the ecology, biology and cultural history of the rich hedgerow heritage in the British Isles.
Much of the UK is intensively farmed, and in such landscapes hedges are often the only refuge for wildlife. In addition to providing shelter, protection and food for animals, they also connect and bind together the patches of habitat that do remain, as well as playing vital roles in soil conservation and flood prevention – in short, they are vital for nature's recovery.
In Hedges, Robert Wolton brings together decades of research, while also incorporating personal experiences from his farm in Devon, to explore the ecology, nature conservation and wider environmental values of our hedges. From improving water quality and producing wood fuel as a renewable energy source to the use of hedges in boosting crop pollination, this engaging and authoritative book will help to inspire people to value and look after the remarkably rich hedgerow heritage we have in the British Isles.
Containing more than 300 photographs and figures, this latest addition to the British Wildlife Collection is a comprehensive commentary on hedges and our relationship with them.
- Definitions and variation
- Origins of hedges
- Reservoirs of wildlife
- Hedges as wildlife corridors
- Hedgerow trees
- The shrub layer and its wildlife
- The wildlife of hedge bottoms, margins and ditches
- Extent, losses and present condition
- Traditional purposes
- Hedges for cleaner water, soil conservation and less flooding
- Hedges for crop pollination and pest control
- Hedges for carbon storage and wood fuel
Further reading and resources
Robert Wolton is an ecological consultant and writer specialising in the management of farmland and associated habitats for wildlife. Robert is a former hedgerow specialist for Natural England, and he has been actively involved in Hedgelink since its inception. He is also the founder and chair of the Devon Hedge Group. Robert is the author of multiple reports and articles on hedges for a range of organisations and publications, and he was the editor and lead author of Devon Hedges.