Restoring hedgerows for wildlife

By Tina Vaughan

Tina Vaughan volunteers as a Hedgerow Hero for CPRE Hampshire. She tells us about her experiences of restoring hedgerows and monitoring wildlife populations.

As a keen conservationist, when I heard about a new scheme called Hedgerow Heroes on my doorstep I knew it was for me.

I volunteer for a number of groups and this one was slightly different. We’ve been given training for many jobs, including hedge surveys, dormice, hedge laying and taking soil samples. We are a team of 12 volunteers from all different backgrounds, but living locally with the same goal – helping nature.

Learning about nature’s corridors

We all bring strengths and knowledge to the table and are keen to help the Meyrick Estate in Hinton achieve the goal of increasing the amount of hedges and improving the old ones. We have learnt a lot about nature’s corridors.

'We all bring strengths and knowledge to the table.'

My husband is also part of the team and particularly enjoys the weekly hedge laying, watching the progress with interest as the newly laid bushes carve a pattern across the fields.

Building a haven for wildlife

I am now learning how to do bumblebee surveys. I’ve entered our sites on BeeWalk, the national Bumblebee Conservation Trust website, to help with understanding the bees decline and monitor populations.

We also record the butterflies that are seen and mention other insects spotted. This helps improve our wildflower knowledge too when we mention where they have been seen. A thrill was spotting a wild honey bee nest in the hedge and knowing that everything we do will help future generations.

'A thrill was spotting a wild honey bee nest in the hedge and knowing that everything we do will help future generations.'

There is a wealth of birds and animals on the estate from buzzards and nightjars to deer and slow worms. Watching the changes over the years will be very interesting and I Iook forward to being part of it in the long term.

Find out more

Learn more about CPRE Hampshire’s Hedgerow Hero project and how you can get involved.

Could you spare some time to volunteer for your local CPRE and stand with the countryside that you love? Learn more about the experience of volunteering for CPRE or drop us a line: volunteeringteam@cpre.org.uk.

Chris O'Donovan

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