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Hedgerows in England Conserved with Lidar

picture of Hedgerows

England’s glorious hedgerows would wrap around Earth almost 10 times, if lined up end to end, a new laser scanning map has found.

From an article in Country Living by Lisa Joyner.

The data reveals a total of 390,000km of hedges in England, measuring between one and six metres in height. The South West has the greatest share (24% of England’s hedges). In terms on counties, Cornwall, Somerset and Derbyshire are home to the most. Excluding London, the northeast has the lowest share (4%) and the lowest densities per county were found in Surrey, Hampshire and Berkshire.

Additionally, there is another 67,000km of lower hedges and a further 185,000km of overgrown hedges above 6m tall in England.

The map is based on aerial laser scanning of England’s landscape using Lidar (Light Detection and Ranging) remote sensing data.

Why are hedges so important?

The UK Centre for Ecology and Hydrology, which created the map, hopes the data will lead to better protection for the lines of trees and shrubs. Hedgerows are a crucial factor in the existence of plants and animals, linking habitats together and providing safe movement for endangered species, such as dormice and rare brown hairstreak butterflies.

“We’ve probably got more hedgerows in England than anywhere else in the world so we’re very lucky to have this huge resource,” Dr. Richard Broughton, from UK Centre for Ecology and Hydrology, told BBC News.

“As a national policy, we’re trying to expand hedgerows in this country, and this will tell us where there are gaps in the hedgerow network that we could fill in.

“This is the first time we’ve been able to map with Lidar the whole country, which means that you don’t have to walk every hedgerow. You can just do a sample of it and then scale up from there. This gives us more detail than we’ve had before on such a large scale.”

For the complete article CLICK HERE.

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