The Wiggly 'Hedge' Fund
We’re aiming to plant 4000 hedge plants 2021/22 – this is app 500 metres of extra habitat for wildlife. If you’d like to play a part (plus a spot of carbon offsetting) we’ll plant one tree for every £1 you tip. You will find this option in the Wiggly Checkout when you are placing an order.
Aiming to plant 4000 hedge plants 2021/2022.
We have set out to plant 500 metres of hedging to provide a fabulous habitat for wildlife and of course help offset carbon.You will be helping us and the environment…
A native hedge:
Carbon dioxide from the air is taken in through pores in the plant and some is converted to make the woody structure. Faster-growing plants can store more carbon in less time. While large, mature hedges will store the most carbon, the overall amount stored will increase little once they are maintained at their desired size.
Managing rainfall is an increasing issue for towns and cities due to the continuing reduction in the area of permeable surfaces – and the predictions for more heavy rainfall events due to climate change. A 2016 survey by the RHS suggested one in four UK front gardens are paved over and nearly one in three front gardens have no plants. Through carefully planting, however, gardens can offer more protection against flooding in the UK.
Support for wildlife
A native hedge will provide shelter for birds, hedgehogs and mammals and some hedges (such as common yew, hawthorn and pyracantha) also provide food such as berries and flowers to provide pollen and nectar for insects. One ecologist – Rob Wolton studied the hedgerow near his home and found it supported 2000 species…
In fact hedges support up to 80 per cent of our woodland birds, 50 per cent of our mammals and 30 per cent of our butterflies. The ditches and banks associated with hedgerows provide habitat for frogs, toads, newts and reptiles.
In areas with few woods, many species of birds depend on hedgerows for their survival. At least 30 species nest in hedgerows. Many of these, such as bullfinches and turtle doves, prefer hedgerows more than 4m tall, with lots of trees, whereas whitethroats, linnets and yellowhammers favour shorter hedgerows (2–3m) with fewer trees. Dunnocks, lesser whitethroats and willow warblers prefer medium or tall hedgerows with few trees.
Wrens, robins, dunnocks and whitethroats usually nest low down, but song thrushes, blackbirds, chaffinches and greenfinches nest well above the ground level. Grey partridges use grass cover at the hedge bottom to nest. It is therefore very important to manage for a range of hedge heights and tree densities and to maintain a grassy verge at the base of the hedge.
Grassy hedge bottoms and field margins provide nesting material and insect larvae for chicks to feed on. Wild flowers and grasses growing up into a hedge also help to conceal nests from predators. In winter, hedgerows can be feeding and roosting sites for resident birds and winter visitors such as fieldfares and redwings.
Watch this space – once we have enough in our planting kitty we will aim to start planting over Winter 21/22.