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Planting Hedges And Trees At Museums


Large fauna have an important role to play in helping to increase, stabilise and support biodiversity. Two of the main ways we can do this is through the planting of hedgerows and trees. While trees and, to a lesser extent, hedgerows can have a direct impact on climate change and carbon emissions, they also can help to create spaces and supportive habitats for many species to thrive. Both trees and hedgerows have declined across Britain during the twentieth century due to agricultural demands on the land. 

Planting trees and hedges

Trees can act as shelters for many bird and insect species, potentially provide food for animals (depending on the tree), and can improve certain soil conditions. They can provide nesting space for birds, suitable habitats for shade loving plants, fungi, lichen, and mosses. Ancient woodland supports more biodiversity than any other kind of land habitat in the UK. Native trees are better for increasing biodiversity, such as the English oak, Scots pine, hazel, and ash trees. Whereas non-native species that were introduced for timber or food needs are less suited, these include conifer species such as the Norwegian Spruce or Corsican Pine.

Similarly, hedgerows provide vital shelter, food and act as “nature corridors”, connecting parts of the land to one another, which can be vital for a species success. Different types of hedgerows with different compositions will provide different benefits to biodiversity. For example, native hedge plants will support more species than non-native plants. Older hedgerows with more dead wood, foliage and general natural debris can provide a material and space for many invertebrates and cover for small mammals. As these grow they attract larger predators such as bats and birds. By providing a base for nature to start rebuilding from, if done right, we can simply stand back and let nature do the rest of the work. They also provide a better alternative to fences or walls to mark boundaries.

Caution needs to be taken when planting trees and hedgerows to ensure that species are being used which will benefit the local environment. What is being planted must have the attributes to help biodiversity in the area and not degrade the environment or outcompete other organisms. 


Further information and guidance can be found at: