Life on the hedge in Birmingham

By on 04/10/2011 in News
  • Date: October 8/9
  • Time: 10am - 3pm
  • Location: Kingfisher Country Park (Entrance by Asda, Off the Coventry Road)
  • Details: Join Birmingham City Council Park Rangers for a hedgelaying demonstration. Help us rescue a hedgeline and create a home for wildlife in the city.

Birmingham City Council is backing a national biodiversity survey to uncover the diverse range of wildlife in England's threatened hedgerows.

And this weekend (October 8/9) Park Rangers will be joined by green-fingered volunteers for a hedge laying demonstration/training course in Kingfisher Country.

The two-day event supports the OPAL (Open Air Laboratories) network survey which aims to discover more about wildlife in hedges through working with volunteer groups and members of the public.

Cabinet member for Leisure, Sport and Culture Cllr Martin Mullaney said: “Hedgerows play a vital role creating green corridors for wildlife in our city. Traditional hedgelaying is not only the best way of managing hedgerows for wildlife, but also a skilled and dying art.

“The demonstrations this weekend, led by Birmingham’s Park rangers, aim to re-invigorate this ancient art and introduce new people to it, as well as getting a hedge laid in a traditional manner.”

The OPAL survey is open to everyone, with a free survey kit, containing tips on how to identify hedge plant species and insects, available from the OPAL website.

Though much is known about rural hedgerows, organisers hope to build up a clear picture about the vital role played by hedgerows in towns where they may be the only remaining habitat for many species of bird, mammal and insect.

Scientists hope the findings of the survey will help them locate thriving hedge hotspots across the country and raise awareness about how best to look them and the creatures that live in them.

ENDS

Notes to Editors

There are 547,000km of hedges in England – the equivalent to a hedge circling the equator 13 times.

Hedges have been identified as a Priority Habitat in the UK Biodiversity Action Plan for about 130 species including moths, birds, lichens and fungi.

Independent research by the Countryside Survey suggesting that more than 26,000 km (16,000 miles) of English hedgerows disappeared between 1988 and 20007.

The total amount of hedgerows fell from 428,000km to 402,000km during that period.

To take part in the OPAL survey, go to http://www.opalexplorenature.org/BiodiversitySurvey for more information.

For more information contact Geoff Coleman on 0121 303 3501

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