Support the Sheffield Hedge Fund, help plant 1000m of new hedgerow and give a truly amazing gift which will benefit local wildlife & ecosystems, and will keep on growing... forever!
Hedgerows need planting and looking after and will continue to disappear if we don’t protect and manage them. Since the 1950s changing agricultural practice, road building and development on the edge of towns and villages has caused tens of thousands of kilometres of hedges to be removed.
Hedgerow management has to be done just right. Over-management can be just as damaging as neglect. Over-management is caused by too much trimming over a long period. On the other hand, neglect allows a hedgerow to grow in an uncontrolled manner into a line of trees. The unique habitat and benefits of a dense, well managed hedgerow are lost.
Hedgerows are TRULY AMAZING! They help support wildlife diversity, healthy ecosystems, provide renewable resources and have important cultural value.
- A Home for Wildlife - Hedgerows support a large diversity of flora and fauna. They are a good source of shelter and food (flowers, berries and nuts) for invertebrates, birds and mammals. In intensively farmed areas they offer a refuge for wild plants and animals. Hedges provide wildlife corridors, facilitating the movement of species through landscapes and from one habitat patch to another. Hedges help sustain key pollinators that support productive farming and natural predators that feed on crop pests. Open-grown trees in hedges can become ancient and offer a greater diversity of habitat niches for species to colonise.
- Strengthens Ecosystems - Hedgerows help produce oxygen and capture harmful particulates - especially important in urban areas that produce more atmospheric pollutants. They also help reduce the urban heat island effect and store carbon. Hedges that bound agricultural land act as a barrier and can reduce the amount of pesticides, fertilisers and eroded soil reaching watercourses. They can also reduce flooding by increasing infiltration rates and slowing water flows, this can help to store water in the soil for use at a later date.
- Provides Farm Resources - Hedgerows need managing if they are to remain as hedgerows and not overwhelm the fields they border or become lines of mature trees with many gaps. With sensitive management hedges can provide more benefits to nature, such as more flowers for pollinating insects and more cover for nesting birds and mammals. Laying hedges every 10 years keeps them in good condition and generates material which can be composted. Hedges can be managed by careful coppicing: creating more woodchip for on farm fertility building. Woodchip compost benefits soil microbiology, helping to restore carbon to the soil and create beneficial mycorrhizal and bacterial communities. Key for soil health and all life on earth!!
- Lasting Cultural Values - Hedgerows can date back to prehistoric times and can help tell the history of human interactions with the land. They offer educational opportunities for people to learn about wildlife and ecosystems. Traditional techniques such as hedge laying, which has distinctive regional styles, can also be taught. Hedges can create landscape features that can have positive benefits for psychological wellbeing. They can also offer natural screens that hide unsightly developments and protect people’s privacy. Hedgerows can provide food for humans. Blackberries, sloes, elderflowers and haws have been used over the centuries in many recipes and are still foraged today by people keen for some wild food.
A newly planted hedgerow costs approx. £20 per metre. Your money will help Regather to buy everything needed to start planting 1000m of new hedgerow:
- 4000 native hedgerow seedling transplants
- 100 native tree whips
- 4000 rabbit proof spiral guards
- 4000 bamboo canes
- 2000m electric deer fence wire
- 1 electric fence charger
- 400 fence stakes
- 400 fence clips
- 2 pairs of fencing pliers
- 1 post basher
- 2 pairs of ear defenders
- 15 packs biscuits
- 134 cups of tea
- and a huge amount of cake...!
For the mathematicians amongst you we'll also be applying for grant funding and other support packages available to hedge planting projects during 2020. We think £12,000 is a good initial target. This crowdfunder gives us all the money when we reach the target, but nothing at all if we don't, so we have to set a realistic goal. If the campaign goes really well, we can stretch the target. We have a rock solid plan to make up any difference and plant at least the full 1000m of hedgerow.
- What will we do? - The newly planted hedgerow will offer a rich mix of native British hedge and tree species planted with between three to six plants every metre, as a double row hedge, with one tree every six to ten metres.
- Where will we do it? - 700m of new hedgerow will be planted at Regather Farm, Sheffield on agricultural land tenanted by Regather under long lease, fully supported by the land owners and protected by conservation area and greenbelt status. 300m of new hedgerow will be planted in public and community locations across Sheffield.
- When will we plant the hedge? - Hedgerow planting will start after the beginning of March 2020, because planting into clay soils is best after heavy frosts, which can cause frost heave and expose roots. Further planting will happen in Autumn 2020. The hedgerow will take 3-7 years to grow into maturity.
- Who will do it? - The Regather team will plant the hedgerow, and will engage Sheffield Hedge Fund supporters, community groups, schools, young people and volunteers of all ages and backgrounds to get involved in well organised, safe and enjoyable hedge planting days from March 2020 onward (weather permitting)
- How do we know what to do? - The hedgerow will be planted using the Natural England 'Hedgerow Planting' guidance prepared on behalf of the Steering Group for the UK Biodiversity Action Plan for Hedgerows. Regather will manage and maintain the hedgerow using the Hedgelink UK 'Hedgerow Management Cycle' approach.
- Why are hedges important (again)? - Hedgerows are an amazing and vital asset to the landscape. They will help us make Regather Farm, and the Sheffield landscape more productive and more resilient. Hedgerows provide habitat, control rainfall and prevent flooding, stop erosion of precious soils and provide shelter. With careful management they provide useful on farm resources including poles, logs and woodchip for compost - essential for on farm fertility building.
Hedgerows have been in decline for 70 years and they need our help. With your support Regather will plant 1000m of hedgerow in the Sheffield area in 2020. Together we will plant new hedgerows which will benefit Sheffield, and be loved, looked after and safe - forever.
A donation of £20 will pay for 1m of newly planted hedgerow. You can choose to make a donation and receive unique Sheffield Hedge Fund rewards, experiences, food & drink and much more. You can also choose to sign up for regular email updates, with the latest Sheffield Hedge Fund news, planting and management updates, exclusive invites to hedge planting days and much more...