Over the winter months volunteers have been busy planting a 200m length of hedgerow at Llangloffan Fen nature reserve near Mathry. This made a welcome change to the usual winter habitat works of cutting things down and preventing encroachment of scrub onto open habitats!
This hedgerow was funded by the Long Forest Hedgerow project which is partner project between Keep Wales Tidy and The Woodland Trust with support from the Heritage Lottery Fund. The main aim of the scheme is to protect our hedgerows and make them important again.
Hedgerows form a vital part of our landscape, but they’re at risk from neglect, damage and removal. The Long Forest project is taking action to halt this decline by delivering practical action – recruiting thousands of volunteers to plant 100,000 trees and improve around 120,000m of hedgerow. It also aims to raise awareness of the importance of hedgerows and their uses, highlight their historical value and survey their condition.
The project is working with landowners and community groups to help manage, improve and extend hedgerows, through training and volunteering action. The project has also developed a hedgerow surveying app which creates records that highlight the current state of the hedgerows across Wales.
The hedgerow planted at the reserve contains a mixture of species such as blackthorn, hawthorn, guelder rose, privet, hazel and spindle. It connects existing hedgerows to each other and provides a better form of habitat connectivity across the reserve. These ‘natural highways’ are key for a variety of species such as bats, reptiles, small mammals and invertebrates such as butterflies.
Wildlife Trust Officer for Pembrokeshire