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WE ARE HERE TO HELP

A one-stop shop for advice and information on traditional boundaries and the benefits to ecology of providing habitat and essential wildlife corridors.

Why do we need traditional boundaries?

Traditional boundaries bring benefits to ecology by providing habitat and essential wildlife corridors; to land management by maintaining boundaries and to heritage by restoring historic landscape features. Hedges and walls are an intrinsic part of our landscape but they rely on human intervention to maintain their value to the environment.

Field boundaries play a vital role in providing habitat for a wide variety of flora and fauna, forming a ribbon of diverse eco-systems stretching across our landscape, linking up species rich areas which would otherwise not exist in a barren agricultural landscape.

The UK has over 300,000 miles of hedgerows and 120,000 miles of dry stone walls.

Help us look after them.

Dry Stone Walls

Dry stone walls have been part of the landscape of the UK for thousands of years. They are vital to the preservation of our landscape heritage and to the wider natural environment.

It is estimated that there are over 193,000 km of dry stone field walls in the UK but only 13% of these are in good condition. Dry stone walls provide valuable wildlife habitat for plants, animals and insects and act as wildlife corridors for species to move about safely. Rare mosses, lichens and fungi can be found colonising the stones whilst mini beasts, frogs, voles and mice make their home within the shady nooks and crannies and predators like weasels and foxes hunt along the wall or use it as a lookout post like the owl and buzzard. Dry stone walling is a sustainable practice, using locally sourced materials, very few tools and requiring limited maintenance.

The Dry Stone Walling Association (DSWA) is a registered charity that works to advance education in the craft and heritage of dry stone walling. Since its formation the DSWA has grown into a national organisation recognised and respected for its work.

Hedgerows

Hedgerows define our countryside and are vitally important for wildlife as a refuge, a source of food, and as corridors along which they can move through the landscape.The correct management of hedgerows is essential if they are to survive and be healthy enough to provide a good habitat. Sympathetic management allows blossom and berries to form, allows the hedge to slowly and incrementally increase in size and keeps the hedge in a healthy condition.

Eventually every hedge needs to be rejuvenated from the base and hedgelaying is one of the best and most traditional ways of doing this. A laid hedge provides a stock proof barrier and a dense habitat for wildlife but most importantly it encourages new growth that starts a new life cycle of the hedge.

The National Hedgelaying Society is dedicated to maintaining the traditional skills of hedgelaying and encouraging the sympathetic management of hedgerows for wildlife and landscape.

Why do we need action now?

Traditional boundaries bring benefits to ecology by providing habitat and essential wildlife corridors; to land management by maintaining boundaries and to heritage by restoring historic landscape features. Hedges and walls are an intrinsic part of our landscape but they rely on human intervention to maintain their value to the environment.

Field boundaries play a vital role in providing habitat for a wide variety of flora and fauna, forming a ribbon of diverse eco-systems stretching across our landscape, linking up species rich areas which would otherwise not exist in a barren agricultural landscape.

Want to know more?

Advice about dry stone walls or hedges

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