[EXP] Devon Hedge Group, an example of partnership of local bodies to protect and promote Devon’s world class hedges (UK)
Rural topic(s): Sustainable forestry
Type: Success story
Date of writing: May 2, 2016
Author(s) of this page: Robert Wolton
Organization(s): Devon Hedge Group
The Devon Hedge Group exists to protect and promote Devon’s world class hedges. We bring together organizations and individuals with an interest in hedges. This is our 21st year
Description of activities:
Ecosystem services. We promote the value of hedges and the many ecosystem services they deliver. These include: biodiversity, water quality improvement, flood prevention, soil conservation, pollination, crop pest control and carbon storage.
Tree health. We have led the development of a Devon action plan for ash (Fraxinus excelsior) dieback disease (Chalara).
Training and events. Member organisations offer training courses on hedge laying, bank maintenance and other hedge matters.
Farming economy. We promote the use of hedges as a practical, cost effective and sustainable source of wood fuel.
Links. We have close ties with Hedgelink, the equivalent UK group, and with various groups in northern continental Europe.
Media. Over the years we have succeeded in generating a great deal of media attention, and have done much to raise the profile of hedges in the county. We have produced a number of quality publications, most recently in 2014 the book Devon Hedges. We are now campaigning to promoting the importance of non-woodland trees, especially those in hedgerows, for biodiversity and landscape.
Challenges: Many hedges are in poor health, largely due to poor management. Our key challenge is make hedges once more a valued part of the farm economy and business. Tree diseases and pests are a growing threat.
Next steps. To refine our vision for a resilient and healthy network of hedges and trees at a landscape level.
Presentation given at the Market of Initiatives at the oaacision of the 1st workshop on sustainable forestry, 17-20 March 2016, UK
Devon Hedge Group
Contact: Robert Wolton
Scale of intervention : Local
Keywords: diversification of economic activities, landscape preservation, tree disease, ecosystem services, hedges, wood fuel, farming economy, improvement of biodiversity, rural heritage
Actors: rural population, private sector, NGO
Methods: training/capacity-building, partnership, campaigning, ouvrage