Hedgerow between two fields


Hedgerows have often been overlooked as one of Britain's most valuable habitats. Their importance as wildlife havens and highways, barriers and wind-breaks is now being fully recognised however. Hedgerows were originally planted to divide the land into fields and pens, marking the boundaries of farms and parishes. They suffered a dramatic decline as field sizes increased. Trees, brambles and woody shrubs such as hawthorn, blackthorn and field maple make up a mature hedgerow. These are much needed refuges for songbirds, while voles, mice and shrews are typical hedgerow mammals that take advantage of all the autumnal fruit.

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Other Terrestrial habitats