On the Breakfast news this morning there was an article about a group of people who were unhappy that their local council has plans to demolish a large hedgerow to enable a road to be widened in the lead up to some luxury houses.
One comment was that a compromise could be reached to save some of the hedgerow but that wasn’t being looked in to, which is such a shame.
I started to think about the hedgerows on my local patch and how much wildlife they support, from food and shelter for insects to birds and bats to small mammals. Safety and cover for larger mammals such as badgers and deers, as well as serving as wildlife corridors for many species.
There are 450,000 km of hedgerow in the UK which throughout the year change from luminous greens to rich autumn golds and reds, from places to build nests and feed on flowers in the Spring to places to shelter in the winter.
This time of year hedgerows become even more important due to the huge amount of food they produce.
Many of the berries and fruits are eaten by migratory birds such as Redwings and Waxwings, and resident birds such as Blackbirds and Bullfinches. My local badgers are very keen on Blackberries and Elderberries. The Roe deer and foxes also like to nibble on the autumn fruit.
Many insects such as butterflies, ladybirds, flies, beetles and wasps eat berries and in turn attract birds and other insects that feed on them.
As well as the many fruits produced by the hedgerows there are also nuts and seeds.
I spent a while this afternoon collecting Hazelnuts and looking at the different holes and teeth marks in the shells.
Lots of species eat Hazelnuts from Dormice (unfortunately not on my local patch), squirrels, rats, wood mice, voles, jays, woodpeckers and even deers.
I really think Hedgerows should be preserved as much as possible and I hope the hedgerow on the News will be saved.