Maximise the value of your field boundaries

01 February 2019

Field margin Saya Harvey farm East Midlands

Hedges, ditches and walls are important for wildlife. Making the most of these features is a simple way to help wildlife without affecting your farm business.

  • Trimming hedges (within permitted dates) and managing ditches on a two to three year rotation boosts flowers, fruit and refuges for wildlife, and saves you time and money compared with trimming and clearing every year. This approach is most suited to thorn‑dominated hedges and ditches where rotational management will not compromise field drainage.
  • Plant a wide range of hedgerow trees to maintain or restore former numbers in the landscape.
  • Avoid inputs drifting into field boundaries and keep an uncultivated buffer strip if the field is re‑seeded or cropped.
  • Fence off hedgerows to allow a dense base to develop. Rather than tightly following the curves of a hedge, consider fencing longer straight runs. This uses fewer posts and allows some rough grass to grow where the fence is further from the hedge.

Further guidance:

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