Kirsty Brown – Conservation Project Assistant
Land managers and local contractors across the North York Moors have been working hard throughout the year, despite the adversity of torrential rain, deep mud, and endless gale-force winds, to keep the hedges and walls of our National Park going.
In addition to being a great landscape feature, the hedge and wall boundaries provide a long list of benefits to land managers, livestock and wildlife. Here are a few of the benefits (you might be able to think up more):
- Wind break (crop and livestock protection)
- Long-lasting livestock retention (outlasting fences by many years!)
- Soil erosion prevention
- Wildlife corridors
- Shelter for livestock and a range of wildlife from snakes to ladybirds
- Nesting areas for wildlife such as birds and voles
- Pollen and nectar for bees and other insects
- Food for wildlife (and foraging humans!)
- Diversity of vegetation, within the hedge and in the sheltered areas at the foot of hedges and walls, in addition to fungi and lichens
A number of land managers applied for grant aid via our Traditional Boundary Scheme during the year. It was my job to initially assess each site, run a constraint check to make sure that what we were going to grant aid wouldn’t have a negative effect, and draw up the grant-aid agreements. I’m now rushing around checking up on grant claims before the end of the financial year.
Here are some of the before and after shots from the Traditional Boundary Scheme so far.
Thanks to all the land managers who have been involved in the Scheme over the last year, and well done everyone who’s completed so far; the renovated boundaries are looking good (the hedgerows always take a bit longer to look good than the walls)! Keep an eye out on our website, our Twitter and Facebook sites, and in the local press, for how to apply for the Traditional Boundary Scheme next financial year.