UKTC Archive

RE: Guidance on Hedge Translocation

Subject: RE: Guidance on Hedge Translocation
From: Dominic Scanlon
Date: Aug 02 2006 13:01:40
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Bill wrote:

 <A Devon 'hedge bank' probably hasn't been evolving for more than a few  
decades or perhaps a couple of centuries. The pragmatist within me would
probably 
go so far as to attempt to re-use the materials and soil but otherwise  rely

on the undisturbed part of the hedge to recolonise the relocated part.  
(Assuming my perception of this job is reasonable of course)>

Well....There is lots of evidence that many of the Devon Hedge banks in
south Devon (and lots elsewhere in Devon) are several hundred years old -
medieval and possibly older.  Many are linked to medieval field systems and
some are possibly late Romano British.  In short they're old and nearly all
of them appear on 1830-1860 maps but their species rich nature indicates
they're far older.  7 woody species in 10m streches is very common - often
higher and in 100m stretches 7 woody species - easy.  In the fields around
our office we have Viburnum lantana (this occurs regularly in this
particular area), spindle in abundance etc etc.  On the walk to the shops I
can pick any 10m stretch and find at least 6 species and usually 7-9.
'Important' hedges (as defined by the Hedge Regs 1999 for the over sea's
posters) are in abundance in Devon - probably 80% of the national quota.  I
would guess that few are not important.

As for Edmunds comment about modesty - it is actually fairly easy to cut and
shift a whole bank a few metres and it survive than it would be to move it
to another site - I suspect that would be very difficult and probably
pointless seeing how easy it is to establish a hedge.  To move the bank you
need to have a hedge that has been closely cropped with no 'trees' in it.
Shrub species will move well - but you need to expect losses of any larger
stools that suffer root severance.  All this is down to the quality of the
tractor drivers and their commitment to making it work.  I've seen shifted
hedges lose all the woody species and turn in to nettle patches.  Good ones
seem to lose very little - there are contractors who specialise in this.

On the general topic - last weeks news that re-located frogs (or was it
snails?) moved as part of the Newbury bypass have now disappeared seems like
a good cautionary tale - judge it after years not months.  The delicate
balance of any particular site must be almost impossible to re-create.

Cheers
Dom 
 



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