Just 7% of Britain’s native woodlands are currently in good ecological condition. We aim to conduct a study to prove that connecting patches of woodlands together by hedgerows has a beneficial effect on the woodland ecology by providing a migratory bridge for species from one area to another.
Ancient woodland now covers just 2.5% of the UK’s land area and we have lost 50% of our hedgerows since 1945, and they are still in decline. As a result, animals that once flourished in these habitats are also significantly diminished. • Up to 75% of all of Britain's rural hedgehogs have been lost in the past 20 years. • Dormouse numbers have declined by 76%-80% between 1994 and 2018. • There has been a 41% decline in the woodland butterfly index for the UK between 1990 and 2019.
This project will aim to collect definitive evidence for the role of hedgerows in nurturing woodland biodiversity by studying the distribution of invertebrates in woodland patches. The findings of the study will be disseminated to the scientific community and through our Agricology platform to reach as wide an audience as possible. As a result we hope that landowners will be motivated to introduce and/or maintain healthy hedgerows on their land, thus improving local biodiversity.