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 sustainable manage for their cultural and environmental importance.
ERCCIS has developed 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. Only by understanding their extent can we ensure their protection and sustainable management for years to come.
During 2017 and 2018, 2 staff members and 20 volunteers spent nearly 3000 hours putting together a map of all the hedges in Cornwall.
The map will provide a wealth of information for research, conservation and sustainable management of our wildlife and habitats. It will give us an understanding about how different species use habitats and interact with the wider landscape. We can investigate how connected and interconnected these areas are in the hope that future management plans will help protect isolated populations. The map therefore will be of great value to landowners, researchers and professionals as well as parish councils and conservation groups.
State of-the-art LIDAR satellite data, to an accuracy of 1m x 1m, was collected of all features above ground level such as buildings, trees and hedgerows. Using sophisticated GIS data processing, blocks of woodland, buildings and other non-hedgerow features were painstakingly removed to create comprehensive and detailed digital map of hedges which we hope to ground truth as the next phase.