Hedgerows are an important refuge for many of Cornwall's native species, with over 30,000 miles of hedges in the county. These unique habitats are important to protect and sustainably manage for their cultural and environmental importance. ERCCIS is developing the first comprehensive and detailed digital map of hedges across the Cornish landscape.
Given the increase in habitat fragmentation and the importance of habitat connectivity, ERCCIS believes that better understanding of hedges and woody networks in Cornwall is critical. We are working in partnership to create the first countywide (we believe in the UK) layer of rural hedges, treelines and farm land trees. Given the diversity (& complexity) of hedges and treelines found throughout Cornwall this will be an on-going piece of work. This data can be used for a vast number of uses including network permeability studies; biodiversity offsetting (e.g. priority locations for hedgerow replacement after planning) and habitat creation (e.g. “gaps to plug” by prioritising locations and then working with landowners via landscape scale projects to re-create corridors) to name a few!
Using state of-the-art LIDAR data, to an accuracy of 1m x 1m, showing the height above ground level of features such as buildings, trees and hedgerows. Using sophisticated data processing, blocks of woodland, buildings and other non-hedgerow features are removed to create comprehensive and detailed digital maps of hedges which will help inform sustainable development and conservation work.
Find out more about Cornish Hedges and their importance to Cornish culture and the natural environment on The Cornish Hedges Group website
Want to get involved?
We are calling for volunteers to help finalise the Hedgerows of Cornwall map. You will be given a 10km grid extract to check and update against area photography. Experience using ArcGIS would be advantageous but not essential as we will provide training and support throughout the project. We ask volunteers to commit to a minimum of one half day a week for 1 month, but you are very welcome to give as much time as you can.
This is a fantastic opportunity to be involved with innovative conservation work and help produce a unique resource with will be used for conservation and sustainable management of Cornwall's landscape and wildlife connectivity.
Please contact Niki Clear - ERCCIS Data Officer for more information