Warsop Footpaths & Countryside Group
Reflections on the origins and current state of
Warsopʼs Hedgerows Contents OUR SURVEY AND FINDINGS.................................................1 HOW WARSOP’S HEDGEROWS HAVE CHANGED ...................4 THE MANAGEMENT OF HEDGEROWS ...................................18 REFLECTIONS ON THE PROJECT ..........................................21 APPENDICES .........................................................................22 Glossary..................................................................................... 22 Dos and Donʼts of Hedgerow Management ................................. 23 Local Hedgerow Wildlife at Risk.................................................. 25 Survey Results ........................................................................... 26 Bibliography ............................................................................... 30 The Parish of Warsop.................................................................. 32 Warsop Footpaths & Countryside Group...................................... 32 Footnotes ................................................................................... 33
Published by WF&CG 2012
Our Survey and Findings Our hedges dominate the appearance of Warsop始s countryside. Wildlife depends on them for shelter, food and corridors for movement. They also tell stories of the past of our countryside. This booklet aims to give a picture of our hedgerows, looking at their past and considering the ways they are managed. The Hedgerows Project Warsop Footpaths and Countryside Group celebrated the Millennium with a project to involve local people in monitoring and recording many aspects of the wildlife and environment of the parish of Warsop. One the many tasks was to survey all 1400 of the boundaries in our countryside. All of the other activities were completed within a couple of years of the start of the new century but this hedge survey took us around a decade to complete Boundaries Warsop始s countryside has over a hundred miles of boundaries where fields adjoin other fields, woodland, industrial or residential sites. These boundaries could be hedgerows, fences, wall or even a gap in a hedge! Boundaries are continuously changing features. During our survey some have been removed, new ones were planted, many declined whilst a few improved.
A gapped hedgerow adjoining Upper Cross Lane -1-
Warsop始s Hedgerows A hedgerow generally consists of a line of shrubs, sometimes with trees and a layer of herbaceous vegetation beneath, and often has an associated feature such as a field margin, bank, ditch, or road verge. Warsop始s Hedgerows in the early 21st Century We surveyed 1402 boundaries with a total length of about 156 miles. These included 766 hedges, 144 fences and 41 walls. Over 300 boundaries have disappeared since the maps we used were surveyed in the 1980s. The length of hedgerows totaled 93 miles but this includes 24% of gaps within these hedges which means that there are 70 miles of hedge plants. Standard trees are found in 23% of the hedgerows, 31% have evidence of having been laid at some time, 71% had been clipped or flailed and 18% are overgrown. The average (median) height is 1.8 metres and the average width is 1.2 metres. According to our survey only 38% of Warsop始s hedges are in a favourable condition, measuring at least 1.5m high, 1m wide with gaps making up 20% or less of their length.
A well-managed hedgerow with a standard tree, viewed from The Carrs
Warsop始s Hedgerows How we conducted our research This project started as a thorough inspection of every hedgerow by a team of volunteers, recording information such as the profile of the hedgebank and the species growing in and around the hedge. Gradually we realised that, if we were to continue to record this level of detail, it would be unlikely that the project would ever get completed. So as survey evolved we became less rigorous, noting only the height, width, gaps, any standard trees and how the hedge had been maintained. Our superb network of public rights-of-way allowed access to the majority of our hedgerows but a few remote hedges were surveyed from a vantage point using binoculars with the information verified by aerial photographs including Google Earth. Thanks are due to the landowners who either granted us access or turned a blind eye to our presence. As it took so long to assemble the data, changes occurred during the timespan of the project. Some hedgerows disappeared, some became overgrown and some new ones were planted. So rather than being a complete account of the state of Warsop始s countryside at one point of time it gives a picture of the condition of our hedges during the first decade of this century. To investigate the changes to Warsop始s field boundaries we compared Sanderson始s 1835 map with later data. For the more recent information we analysed Ordnance Survey maps, aerial photographs from the 1940s and 1950s, more recent images from Google Earth together with the outcomes of our own surveying. The file of data giving information that we have collected about each boundary will allow future comparisons with the current situation. Electronic versions of this file are available online at www.wfcg.org.uk and paper versions will be lodged in local libraries and record offices.
How Warsopʼs Hedgerows Have Changed Changes during the last two centuries 1
By looking at the boundaries recorded on the 1835 Sanderson map and comparing them with later data we obtained an approximate picture of the changes to our countryside. We cannot be sure whether all the 1835 boundaries were hedgerows but it seems probable that most were. From all of the total length of all of the boundaries investigated • 45% existed in 1835 and still exists • 4% appeared between 1835 and 1976 and still exists • 1% appeared since 1976 and still exists • 32% disappeared between 1835 and 1947 • 14% disappeared between 1947 and 1976 • 4% disappeared since 1976 From the 32% that disappeared between 1835 and 1947 • 39% of the loss in that period was from enlarging arable fields • 25% was from the creation of plantation woodland • 16% was from housing development • 15% was from colliery sites and waste tips From the 14% that disappeared between 1947 and 1976 • 55% of the loss in that period was from enlarging arable fields • 24% was from colliery sites and waste tips • 17% was from housing development From the smaller length (4%) that has disappeared since 1976 • 79% of the loss in that period was from enlarging arable fields • 20% was from colliery sites and waste tips Of the total length of lost boundaries over the whole period • 46% was from enlarging arable fields • 18% was from colliery sites and waste tips • 17% was from the creation of plantation woodland • 15% was from housing development -4-
Warsop始s Hedgerows Some of these changes can be illustrated by looking at maps of two parts of Warsop. These maps show a kilometre square that includes Ling Lane just beyond the former Scout Camp. On the earlier map the Lings remained as heathland or farmed land before becoming forestry plantations. The later maps show the loss of hedgerows as fields were enlarged in the second th half of the 20 century.
Warsop始s Hedgerows Cropmarks from this part of Warsop have revealed a brickwork-plan field system showing that it was cultivated in the period around the first century BC to the first century AD2. Following the Norman invasion this area fell within the boundary of Sherwood Forest and the protection afforded to the royal deer, combined with the low fertility of the sandy soils, allowed this area to become heathland. Forest laws were the cause of great dissatisfaction amongst the landowners of Warsop in the 1700s. They unsuccessfully petitioned Queen Anne and her Parliament over the damage inflicted by her red deer 3. By the end of that century the local landowners had taken matters into their own hands, removing enclosures established for feeding the deer and turning cattle onto the land. A century later the Forest had passed into the hands of the aristocracy and the deer had all but disappeared. However a habitat for other species of deer was provided within the conifer plantations that were first established on the poor soils to the east and south of the parish from the late 1800s.
Sookholme Lane with one of Warsop始s oldest hedgerows on the left -6-
Warsop始s Hedgerows The following map shows how the area between William Wood Lane and Collier Spring Wood in 1920. The black line indicates the area that was later affected by the spread northwards of the tip from Warsop Main colliery. This area, along with the colliery site, has been restored to fields, woodland, hedgerows and wetlands. Public access to much of the restored tip is restricted although new paths provide easy walking to a viewpoint on the tip and around the restored pit yard and sidings closer to Warsop Vale.
A similar situation occurred to the west of Warsop parish where the waste from Shirebrook colliery obliterated the pattern of fields between Carter Lane, Longster Lane and Bath Lane. To the north of Meden Vale, Welbeck colliery tip was extended into the woodlands. -7-
Warsop始s Hedgerows The Origins of Hedgerows Hedges have been a feature of the British landscape for thousands of years. Archaeologists have discovered the earliest evidence of a managed hedgerow near Peterborough. This blackthorn hedge was dated to 2500 4 BC. It ran alongside a Bronze Age field boundary ditch . Planting a hedgerow is just one of three ways it may be created. It may also be seeded along the line of a fence or deadhedge made up of cut branches. Birds usually distribute the seeds through their droppings. The third method is where a remnant of woodland is left to form a boundary 5 along the edge of an area that it has been cleared. Once established there is a tendency for the number of shrub species in a 6 hedgerow to increase, usually with the help of birds. This allows the age of a hedge to be estimated using Hooper始s Rule. According to this rule the number of tree and shrub species counted in a 30 yard length of a 7 hedgerow is approximately equal to its age in centuries. This method should be used with caution, applying it to a hedge that Warsop Footpaths 8 & Countryside Group planted a couple of years ago suggests that it is already 500 years old! However our survey of the hedge between Sookholme Lane and the Hills and Holes revealed 12 species but as it is alongside an ancient route it is quite possible that it is over a thousand 9 years old. It is unfortunate that the present lack of management could result in this magnificent hedgerow not surviving another century.
The hedge along the north-west edge of The Carrs after it had been reduced in height in autumn 2011 -8-
Warsop始s Hedgerows Hedges have been planted for a wide range of purposes. They retain livestock within fields and prevent animals straying when driven along lanes. A hedgerow can provide shelter for livestock and reduce erosion and wind damage to crops. Significant boundaries may be marked with a hedge; a hedgerow upon a hedgebank indicates the parish boundary between Warsop and Norton beside the track approaching Hazel Gap. Unsightly buildings may be screened and a hedge of thorny species, particularly blackthorn, may deter intruders. Many of Warsop始s boundaries appeared around the time when our Enclosure Act came into force, the Act having been passeed in 1818. Nationally 200,000 miles of hedgerow were planted between 1750 and 10 1850 which is similar to the length planted during the previous 500 years. Most new hedgerows planted since enclosure follow straight lines suggesting that most curved hedges are at least 300 years old.
From the Warsop Enclosure Map (by permission of Nottinghamshire Archives. Document Ref: EA/6/1) -9-
Warsop始s Hedgerows The following maps show the network of lanes around Market Warsop and Sookholme as indicated on the enclosure map. The hedges alongside these routes could be ancient although the enclosure commissioners frequently stipulated that some roads should be widened so at least one of 11 the hedges lining these lanes could have been replanted. The gaps in the line of some lanes in these maps shows where they crossed fields or woodland and were not marked on the enclosure map.
Lanes around Market Warsop as indicated on the 1825 Enclosure Map
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Lanes around Sookholme as indicated on the 1825 Enclosure Map
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Warsop始s Hedgerows Lost Hedgerows It has been claimed that almost every hedge that existed in 1870 was still 12 there in 1950. This contrasts with our local picture as we have estimated that around 32% were lost in Warsop in a similar period. However this figure may be overestimated, as some of the boundaries marked on old maps may not have been hedgerows. Only a third of our loss was due to agricultural practices with 25% due to forestry, 16% to housing and 15% to coal mining. Research has revealed that between 1984 and 1990 hedgerow length in 13 England had declined by 20%. Almost half of the loss was a result of a lack of management. These figures match Warsop始s data for hedgerow loss in that period. Between 1947 and 1985 the East Midlands lost an estimated 16,000 miles of hedgerow. Latest research suggests that nationally the length of hedgerow is now stable but there has been a 7% decline in the number of classic shrubby hedgerows and a 9% increase in the number of overgrown hedgerows that are developing into a line of trees 14. Labour was cheap and plentiful when enclosure hedges were planted and first maintained. The introduction of mechanisation into farming has had a major impact on hedgerows and their management. Ploughing with steampowered traction engines was introduced in the late 1800s and the first petrol fueled tractors became available in the 1920s. Since then increasingly larger machinery has been introduced, requiring larger turning circles and wider gateways. The larger a field the more efficiently they could operate. The presence of a hedge may reduce crop yields on its northern side. Spraying and ploughing close to the field edge have also degraded hedgerow habitats. Thirty years ago farmers were paid to remove hedges in order increase productivity but since then lower levels of subsidy have become available for reinstating lost hedges with the aim of increasing biodiversity. Between - 12 -
Warsop始s Hedgerows 1990 and 1993, the removal of hedgerows more than halved, and the rate of planting exceeded the rate of removal. As a result of hedgerow incentive schemes, many farmers began work to restore and manage hedgerows and other boundary features. Unfortunately, during this period there was a decrease in hedgerow length, partly due to a lack of management, resulting in hedges being reclassified as lines of trees or gappy shrubs. These relict hedgerows, although registered as lost in the survey, are still of value to 15 wildlife.
An overgrown former hedgerow along the edge of the Hills & Holes However many of the plants used to restore hedgerows were not of local provenance and the management of many hedges could be improved. Clearly it is no longer economically viable for the majority of hedges to be laid by partially cutting their main stems and bending them over to create a horizontal barrier and therefore a denser hedgerow. At least 30% of - 13 -
Warsop始s Hedgerows Warsop始s hedgerows were laid at some time although few are currently managed in this way. Two examples may still be seen along Sookholme Lane near Herrings Farm and beside Bowring始s depot at Warsop Windmill. Mechanical management with a flail is now the only viable method of largescale maintenance but a hedgerow can thrive if guidelines are followed. Neglecting a hedgerow is more likely to lead to its disappearance than insensitive management. Overgrown hedges become dominated by tree species that eventually crowd out less dominant species causing the hedgerow to become a line of trees.
A fire damaged hedge alongside Upper Cross Lane Vandalism has caused gaps in several of Warsop始s hedgerows as we seem to be establishing a new tradition of countryside pyromania. Each spring and summer there seem to be fires started deliberately destroying parts of a hedge that may have existed for several centuries. Road traffic incidents may damage roadside hedges where vehicles leave the road although these are usually repaired. - 14 -
Warsop始s Hedgerows New Hedgerows Having described the decline of many hedges in the previous section it is now time to look at some of the new ones that have been planted in recent years. Several miles of hedgerow have been planted, mainly due to the restoration of pit tips and colliery sites. Other examples of new hedges include the hedgerow surrounding the Doorstep Green at Church Warsop and restoration of the hedge along the edge of the Carrs Local Nature Reserve carried out by students from Meden School and by Warsop Footpaths & Countryside Group. Whenever new hedgerows are planted plans need to be made for their long-term maintenance otherwise they will deteriorate into a line of scrub rather than an elegant boundary. Less obvious planting occurs when gaps are filled in hedgerows and we are fortunate that some of our local farmers take the trouble to do this.
A new hedgerow between Parsons Wood and the woodlands on the restored pit tip at Warsop Vale
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Why Hedgerows Matter Aesthetic Values The indignation felt by many people when a hedgerow is destroyed reflects the emotional attachment to what we consider to be the traditional English countryside. A patchwork of small fields separated by well-kept hedgerows provides texture and pattern in the landscape. Mature trees in hedgerows also add scale and perspective to a view.
Standard trees in a hedgerow near Broomhill Lane This may be taking a Midlands perspective. In other areas of the country stone walls, fells or open moorland may be the style preferred by most folk. However in parts of the Midlands many of our current hedgerows were planted between 1750 and 1850 following the Enclosure Acts when the large open field systems created in Medieval times were divided between landowners. Some other hedges are over a thousand years old and are older than many of our historic buildings that are valued by the community. The pattern of hedgerows tells the story of the countryside and farming traditions of an area. - 16 -
Warsop始s Hedgerows Practical Uses of Hedgerows Hedgerows may divide fields, confine livestock, shield eyesores, protect from the weather, mark boundaries, deter intruders, keep out predators, reduce wind erosion, cut down the amount of pollution that reaches watercourses and reduce the risk of flooding by regulating the flow of rainwater. Hedges have traditionally been used as a source of firewood although during the cold period in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries penalties for hedge-stealing included whipping or stocks. Nowadays the use of firewood from hedgerows could play a role in reducing the rate of climate change. Hedges contribute to carbon storage, each kilometre of new hedgerow may store between 600 and 800 kg of CO2 each year. Supporting Wildlife The RSPB suggest that hedges may support up to 80% of our woodland birds, 50% of our mammals and 30% of our butterflies. They provide food for insects, which in turn provide food for other species. Hedgerow fruits are also a food source for birds and mammals. They are important breeding sites, providing cover for nesting birds and shelter from the weather. Bats and owls can roost in mature trees within hedgerows and bats use hedgerows to navigate and to feed. Hedges provide wildlife corridors between habitats for many species of mammals, reptiles and amphibians. They are particularly important for flying insects like butterflies which need warm sheltered conditions to be able to gain the heat necessary to fly. The ditches and banks associated with hedgerows provide habitat for frogs, toads, newts and reptiles. Nottinghamshire Biodiversity Action Group identifies 30 species of conservation concern in our county that are likely to benefit from good hedgerow management. (see appendix)
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The Management of Hedgerows Our survey tells us that only 38% of Warsopʼs hedges are a minimum of 1.5 metres high, 1 metre wide and a maximum of 20% gapped. Similar results in other hedgerow surveys in other areas suggest that an average of 41% of hedges are in favourable condition. The methods used to manage our hedgerows could contribute to improving these figures. Farmers responsible for 60% of Englandʼs agricultural land now follow Natural Englandʼs Environmental Stewardship scheme16. The Entry Level Stewardship scheme provides payments for complying with sufficient measures from a list of options. The rules applying to hedgerows include maintaining them to a height of not less than 1.5 metres, not cultivating or applying fertilisers, manures or pesticides within 2 m of the centre of the hedge, cutting no more than once every 2 calendar years (and not cutting all hedgerows in the same year) and not cutting during the bird breeding season (1 March to 31 August). Leaving up to 6 metres of environment buffer strip alongside a hedge is also included in the scheme. Most of Warsop parish also falls within the Sherwood Target Area for Higher Level Stewardship were farmers can access finding for meeting specific biodiversity, historic, environmental and access requirements. Other bodies also offer advice. The Farming and Wildlife Advisory Group (FWAG) recommends that hedges should be cut only in alternate years. This reduces time and expense for the farmer and is better for the wildlife than annual cutting as berry crops are increased because some species only flower on second year growth. In addition disturbance to wildlife is 17 also reduced . The Countryside Commissionʼs Hedgerow Incentive Scheme (1992) and Defraʼs Countryside Stewardship Scheme (2003) advocate waiting until early in the new year before cutting in order to maximise the food value of the hedge and to prevent disturbing nesting birds. They also recommended that the hedge is cut no more than twice every five years with the height kept to a minimum of 2 metres. - 18 -
Warsop始s Hedgerows Max Hooper 18 suggested that the ideal habitat for wildlife is an unmanaged hedge, around 4 metres high and 4 metres wide with brambles along its base. However, he recommended a more realistic compromise where a narrower hedge width of 2 metres width would be acceptable.
One of Warsop始s few well-managed 4 metre tall hedges between Broomhill Lane and Sod Wall Plantation Much of the biodiversity of hedges is associated with hedgerow trees, so good hedgerow management involves taking care to prevent young trees being stopped by mechanical hedge trimmers. It has been calculated that, across Great Britain, a further 15,000 to 20,000 new hedgerow trees need to be established each year just to keep the population stable. New plants for planting or gapping up a hedge should be obtained from local provenance suppliers who sell plants from stock that occurs naturally in the local area.
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Warsop始s Hedgerows All this guidance on good practice is fine in theory but in the real world hedge maintenance is always a compromise. Even with the relatively small amount of hedge trimming that Warsop Footpaths & Countryside Group complete in order to keep rights-of-way open we sometimes have to cut when there is fruit on the hedge plants or birds may be nesting. Farmers face many more complex issues and we should be grateful to those who manage their hedgerows in a sensitive way.
A standard tree in a hedgerow near Upper Cross Lane
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Reflections on the Project The training sessions at the start of the project were just the beginning of the process of learning about the complex relationships between hedgerows and their associated plants and creatures. Thanks are due to all of the people whose expertise in various areas contributed to the project. One of the major outcomes was the increase in our understanding of how the landscape of Warsop has evolved and how its features can tell us the stories of its past. One of the great pleasures of the surveying was venturing into corners of the parish that we may never have otherwise visited. There are many special secluded spots in our parish and also one or two places that I have made a note to avoid in the future! As for the future of our hedgerows, hopefully the decline of the second half th of the 20 century has slowed. The risks from neglect, development, inappropriate management and vandalism continue. We can afford to be optimistic about their survival as long as agricultural subsidies continue to make sensitive management viable. However the days when the majority of hedgerows were dense, laid, stock-proof barriers are in the past although today始s versions are still of great value to wildlife and humans. Hopefully, in the unlikely even that anybody is misguided enough to repeat nd our survey at the start of the 22 century, we will be judged as the generation that began to value hedgerows once more.
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Appendices Glossary An explanation of some of the terms used in the text. Enclosure: The series of Acts of Parliament, mainly passed between 1750 and 1860, which enclosed open fields and common land, removing rights of local people to cultivate, graze or collect wood. Flailed: Hedgerow cut using a tractor-mounted flail. Branches in flailed hedges may be shattered or smashed at the ends. Gap: Any section of a hedgerow that is not occupied by woody vegetation and is under 20m in length Leggy hedgerow: Hedgerow that is 驶thin始 at and near the base with few or no horizontal branches and leafy shoots. Laid hedgerow: A hedgerow that has had its stems partially cut through, near the base, and then bent and positioned to form a barrier. Recognised by the horizontal or diagonal angle of the larger stems in the hedgerow Standard tree: A hedgerow tree with a single stem that has been left to grow.
A recently laid hedge alongside Sookholme Lane - 22 -
Dos and Donʼts of Hedgerow Management Do trim sections on at least a three-year rotation. This ensures that thick nesting cover and insect habitat is available somewhere on the site every year, and reduces management time and cost. Sections should be blocks across the hedgerow, as some species are restricted to one side of a hedge. Furthermore, many insects depend on the tips of hedgerow branches, so cutting an entire hedge at once may render those with an annual life cycle locally extinct. Do undertake trimming work in December or January. Management at the wrong time of the year can disturb breeding birds and remove fruit - an important winter food. Do consider leaving one or two hedges untrimmed for up to ten years then re-shaping using a sharp circular saw attachment. Do allow the hedge to increase in height by up to 10cm at each cut thus avoiding severe damage to branches. Do undertake winter restoration work, e.g. traditional hedgelaying or coppicing and planting up gaps where necessary to prevent hedges becoming ʻgappyʼ and losing base structure. Bats are unable to use hedges as a feeding corridor where gaps along the hedge length are too wide. Do keep, plant and replace mature hedgerow trees, which are important for species such as barn owls and bats. Tag young trees during flailing, to ensure they are not cut. Do leave field margins alongside hedges. Do consider the shape of your hedge - an A-shaped hedge is good for birds such as yellowhammers, and for hibernating rodents. Donʼt cut hedges too low - this will eventually damage the hedgerow and result in loss of habitat. A minimum of 1.5m is recommended but the - 23 -
Warsopʼs Hedgerows higher the better. Donʼt cut hedges in large blocks - gaps are too large for insects to cross to reach their food source. Donʼt remove dead standing trees - these are important feeding and roosting sites. If health and safety is an issue, consider other forms of management, e.g. crown reduction. Donʼt cut undergrowth or hedges can become leggy at the base, minimising shelter. Donʼt strim the base of hedgerows or disturb the leaf litter - this is an important refuge for many animals and rare hedgerow plants. From Managing Hedges for Biodiversity - A good practice guide for landowners and managers published by Nottinghamshire Biodiversity Action Group
The ancient hedge alongside Sookholme Lane that is deteriorating due to a lack of management - 24 -
Local Hedgerow Wildlife at Risk Examples of species of conservation concern that are likely to benefit from good hedgerow management Birds Kestrel Grey partridge Turtle dove Barn owl Dunnock Lesser whitethroat
Song thrush Yellowhammer Reed bunting Bullfinch Linnet Tree sparrow
Reptiles Common lizard Plants Bluebell Mammals Hedgehog Common shrew Daubenton始s bat Brown long-eared bat Pipistrelle bat Noctule bat
Brown hare Harvest mouse Badger Stoat Weasel
Butterflies and moths Small eggar Scarce vapourer Brown hairstreak
Purple hairstreak White-letter hairstreak
Information from Nottinghamshire Biodiversity Action Group (0115) 977 4213 - www.nottsbag.org.uk
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Survey Results Species identified along the hedgerows of Upper Cross Lane (off Cherry th Grove) during a survey on 8 June 1999 Apple Ash Barren Brome Black Bryony Blackthorn Bluebell Bracken Broadleaved Dock Broadleaved Plantain Bugle Bulbous Buttercup Cats Ear Cleavers Cocksfoot Common Field Speedwell Common Hemp Nettle Common Poppy Common Storksbill Common Vetch
Cow Parsley Creeping Buttercup Creeping Cinquefoil Creeping Thistle Dog Rose Elder False Oat Field Bindweed Field Maple Field Pansy Field Scabious Foxglove Germander Speedwell Greater Stitchwort Hawthorn Hawkweed Hedge Mustard Honeysuckle Lesser Burdock Lesser Stitchwort
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Mayweed Meadow Grass Mugwort Nettle Pedunculate Oak Perennial Ryegrass Pineapple Weed Rosebay Willow Herb Rough Hawkbit Sheep Sorrel Shepherds Purse Small Teasel Smooth Sow Thistle Wavy Hairgrass White Clover (Crucifer) Wych Elm
Warsop’s Hedgerows Data from the Survey of Warsopʼs Countryside Boundaries Number
Total length (km)
Total length (miles)
All surveyed boundaries Hedge (including gaps) Fence Wall
Boundary gone, or 451 72.957 45.6 other features* *ʼOther featuresʼ include woodland edge, boundaries within woodland, scrub or lines of ditches. Total hedge length deducting any gaps 112.760km
Percentage of total length of hedgerows that contains plants 75.85%
Number of hedges
Contains standard tree(s) Has been laid Has been clipped or flailed Overgrown
Percentage of all hedges 23.1% 30.9%
Analysis of Hedgerow dimensions
Average hedgerow height Average hedgerow width
Mean 2.1m 1.3m
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Median 1.8m 1.2m
Height of surveyed hedgerows
Width of surveyed hedgerows - 28 -
Warsop’s Hedgerows Data collected for all boundaries The 1402 records in our database each contains these fields. • Boundary Type • Is Hedge Overgrown? • Standard Trees Present? • Is There a Hedgebank? • Hedge Height (metres) • Adjacent Land Use (Side 1) • Hedge Width (metres) • Adjacent Land Use (Side 2) • Length (metres) • Comments • Percentage Gapped • Start Point (10 figure Grid Ref) • Has Hedge Been Laid? • End Point (10 figure Grid Ref) • Has Hedge Been Clipped Or Flailed? The complete data files can be downloaded from www.wfcg.org.uk or viewed in local archives or libraries Data acquired from comparison of maps When boundaries where created or lost Boundaries indicated in 1835
New since 1835
New since 1976
Lost since 1976
45.2% 4.3% 0.6% 32.5% 13.8% (figures given are percentages of all boundaries surveyed)
Reasons for loss of boundaries Lost to … Lost pre1947 Lost 19471976 Lost since 1976 Total lost
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Bibliography Oliver Rackham: The History of the Countryside (J M Dent & Sons 1986) Oliver Rackham: Trees and Woodland in the British Landscape (J M Dent & Sons 1976) Francis Pryor: The Making of the British Landscape (Allen Lane 2010) Sandersonʼs 1835 map of Twenty Miles round Mansfield (ISBN 0 902751 42 5 / ISBN 0 902751 43 3) Ordnance Survey Maps: 1885, 1920, 1955 (all 1:10560) and 1984 (1:10000). Available from www.old-maps.co.uk Warsop Enclosure Map (Ref: EA/6/1) Nottinghamshire Archives RSPB website – www.rspb.org.uk/ourwork/conservation/advice/farmhedges Hedgelink website - www.hedgelink.org.uk Research and Surveys – Hedgerow Management And Wildlife A review of research on the effects of hedgerow management and adjacent land on biodiversity Contract report to Defra, Edited by C J Barr, C P Britt,T H Sparks and J M Churchward Importance of Hedges – The importance of hedgerows and the services they provide to society.
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Warsop Footpaths and Countryside Group celebrated the new millennium with a project to survey all 1400 of the countryside boundaries in our parish. This booklet gives a picture of the current state of our hedgerows, reflecting on the past of the local countryside and factors that have resulted in the current situation. The management of hedges to improve their value to wildlife is also considered.
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The Parish of Warsop Warsop is located in north west Nottinghamshire, bordering with Derbyshire along its western boundary and with Sherwood Forest to the east. It is made up of the old settlements of Market Warsop, Church Warsop and Sookholme together with the villages of Meden Vale, Warsop Vale and Spion Kop that were established to house colliery workers. Warsopʼs two coal mines closed in 1989 and 2010 leaving behind the remodelled landscape of their waste tips. Much of Shirebrook Collieryʼs waste was also deposited over the county border in Warsop. The River Meden flows through the parish and our fine countryside includes two Sites of Special Scientific Interest and two Local Nature Reserves.
Warsop Footpaths & Countryside Group We are a community group whose members share an interest in the countryside. We maintain the public footpath network in Warsop, undertake conservation projects, provide information about the local environment and organise a programme of walks. The group was set up in 1996 to maintain Warsopʼs rights of way network as agents of the Parish Council under the Nottinghamshire County Council Parish Paths Partnership (P3) scheme. Volunteers from this group continue with this work despite the abolition of this scheme in 2011. We cut the grass along many of our footpaths and bridleways, also clearing the vegetation growing alongside the paths. We install, replace and repair signposts and waymark posts and we maintain stiles and bank steps. We monitor the condition of all 52 public footpaths, bridleways and byways in the parish. Our conservation projects have included tree and hedge planting on The Carrs Local Nature Reserve. We have undertaken scrub clearance on the Hills & Holes SSSI following management plans from Natural England and continue with an annual grass cut on the Rhein o'Thorns section of the site. Go to our website www.wfcg.org.uk for more information, including our guides for walks around Warsop
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Footnotes 1 2
4 5 6 7 8
10 11 12 13 14
15 16 17 18
Sandersonʼs 1835 map of Twenty Miles round Mansfield Garton, D. 2008. The Romano-British landscape of the Sherwood Sandstone of Nottinghamshire: fieldwalking the Brickwork-Plan Field-Systems. Transactions of the Thoroton Society 112 Warsop Parish Registers with Notes and Illustrations by Richard J King, Curate of Warsop and Diocesan Inspector 1884 Pryor: The Making of the British Landscape p101 Rackham: The History of the Countryside p181Pryor: The Making of the British Landscape p307 Rackham: The History of the Countryside p194 Hedge planted along the edge of the Carrs LNR in autumn 2008 contained hawthorn, guelder rose, spindle, hazel and field maple. The species identified on 16/06/2002 were field maple, privet, elder, hazel, wych elm, field rose, dog rose, hawthorn, ash, blackthorn, buckthorn and spindle. Rackham: The History of the Countryside p190 Pryor: The Making of the British Landscape p306 Rackham: Trees and Woodland in the British Landscape p191 Institute of Terrestrial Ecology (ITE) survey of hedgerow changes The importance of hedgerows and the services they provide to society. www.hedgelink.org.uk Information from www.RSPB.org Information from www.naturalengland.org.uk Information from www.RSPB.org Hooper, M.D.: Hedge Management. Unpublished: Institute of Terrestrial Ecology report for the Department of the Environment. August 1992.
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Published on Jan 27, 2012
Warsop Footpaths and Countryside Group celebrated the new millennium with a project to survey all 1400 of the countryside boundaries in our...