Experts have noted that some of these losses may have been due to the incorporation of hedges into parts of woodland or the reclassification of undermanaged areas into treelines. By the early 1990s, initiatives were being put in place to reduce the overall decline. Since then, legislation now requires permission to be sought before hedge removals can take place and schemes to encourage replanting and correct management are underway to restore this important habitat.
Our new reservoir hedging will include dogwoods (Cornus sanguinea), hazel (Corylus avellana), hawthorn (Crataegus monogyna), guelder rose (Viburnum opulus) and wayfaring tree (Viburnum lantana), all of which will provide seasonal interest, protection, foraging and hiding places. During assessment of the planting site, we identified two of the ten hedgerow bird species that were placed on the red list of conservation concern in 1996; linnets and bullfinches, so we are very hopeful that the new hedge will offer even more opportunities for other wildlife visitors.
Though rain brings its own complications, we look forward to the change in weather that autumn brings so that we can fully embrace the planting season.