Severn Vale Hedgerow Survey 2009
In 2009, SVP won funding from Defra to survey 45 randomly selected hedgerows across the Severn Vale, in line with Defra’s Hedgerow Survey Handbook (2nd Edition). The aim of the survey was to collect information important to wildlife that inhabits hedgerows and the biodiversity which they support, to feed in to Defra’s National Hedgerow Survey Database. Although the sample size of the 2009 survey was small in relation to the Severn Vale as a geographical area (some 40 sq km) the survey was in some depth and looked at features such as tree species, composition of the hedgerow, wildflowers at the base of the hedge, the hedgerow's dimensions and management cycle.
The 2009 survey not only marked the first time that this type of survey had been undertaken in the Severn Vale or Gloucestershire, it was also an interesting learning curve and benchmark that SVP set itself having become the lead partner for Hedgerows in the county, which in turn followed involvement with Gloucestershire Biodiversity Action Plan (GBAP) steering group meetings.
In total 107 volunteer days were spent on the project, a great achievement for SVP and all the volunteers involved; without this valuable contribution from volunteers, meeting the funder’s deadlines would have been much more challenging.
The information gathered from the Severn Vale Hedgerow Survey 2009 will help implement the GBAP, which aims to restore important hedgerows in the Severn Vale. It will also form a baseline against which any decline or improvement in hedgerow condition can be monitored in the future.
A knock-on effect of the 2009 survey helped SVP over the winter months of 2009/10 to create or restore over 1km of hedgerows on a number farms across the Severn Vale. It is hoped that, through our latest application to Defra for further hedgerow survey work across the Severn Vale, a better picture and understanding of the present state and conditions of hedgerows will be known.
The full report submitted to Defra is available to download.....