Prestwood Nature The Local Environment Group for the Prestwood Area

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Hedges and Special Trees Project


The best hedges provide an important habitat in themselves for many plants and creatures, and also connections between other habitats.  Old trees also provide a special habitat for hundreds of other creatures.


1. Locate, record and map the most valuable hedges and trees.

2. Identify those hedges and trees that may need protection/improvement.

3. Liaise with landowners and local authority planners concerning management and conservation of  old hedges and significant trees identified by our surveys.

4. Identify clusters of old hedges of historical significance.

5. Provide our data to local historians and the environmental records centre.

Survey Method

1. Trained volunteers will examine hedgerows and significant trees in areas allocated by the coordinators, and return records to coordinators on standard forms.

2. A database will be maintained of all hedges and their profiles (ditches and banks of historical significance).

3. A database will be maintained of basic details of all hedges with six or more woody species per 30m (location, diversity score, all woody species present, basic condition and size, profile, and any other significant species present).

4. A database will be maintained of basic details of all significant trees examined (long-lived trees over 2.25m girth, other trees over 1.5m girth, and rare or unusual trees).  Details would include location, girth, condition, and reference to any photos taken.

5. A map of the locations of all recorded and significant hedges and trees will be maintained.

6. A central file of photos of trees (and some hedges) will be maintained.

Click here to view the identification guide for trees and hedgerow shrubs

Coordinators’ roles

1. Recruit, train and support volunteers.

2. Allocate survey areas and maps.

3. Develop recording forms, receive and enter all data.

4. Maintain databases, maps and photographic records.

5. Organise occasional field trips to celebrate old hedges and significant trees in our area and consider steps required for their preservation and/or improvement.

6. Consider need for re-surveying significant hedges and trees after 10 years.

7. Liaise with landowners, planners and others as relevant.

Volunteers' roles

1. Visit (as far as public access or permission of landowners allow) all hedges, wood-edges and woodlands in the allocated area.

2. For each, record location (using PN area codes and GPS if possible), and (for hedges and wood-edges) the profile, on Form A (Record of Visit).

3. For each hedge, measure a 30 metre length (near the centre of the hedge but avoiding any major gaps if possible).  Count the number of woody species present in that length.

4. If there are six or more woody species in 30m, fill in Form B (Significant Hedges).

5. Inspect all hedges, wood-edges and woodlands to identify trees likely to qualify as special trees.  For each location which has one or more qualifying trees, fill in Form C (Special Trees), including details of each qualifying tree.  Record GPS and take a photo of each if possible.

6. Return forms/maps to coordinators on completion.