Hedgerow management

The function of hedgerows is multiple. Hedgerows provide habitat to insects that benefit cropping (pollinators, insects that eat pests). Often it concerns the hibernation spot of these beneficiaries. A suitable combination with field margins gives the perfect habitat! A considered decision concerning the used species is necessary: you don’t want to attract harmful organisms. Next to insects also birds and other wildlife can find food and nesting places in the hedgerows. The frequency of cutting the hedgerows influences this latter.

During hedgerow management a lot of ligneous material is released. This source of organic material can be used to increase the organic matter content of the soil (see organic matter input). When it is not used on the farmland it can serve as a source of green energy.

Hedgerows reduce erosion. This barrier stops water and sand which results in less leaching of organic matter and nutrients.

And then we didn’t even mention the environmental value of hedgerows!

Interesting links:

Bringing hedgerows back into the farm business (Agricology)

Relaxed cutting regimes (Agricology)

Harvesting woodfuel from hedges (Agricology)