Sadly, some 118,000 miles of hedgerow has been lost to intensive farming and urban development since 1950. This negatively impacts nature as hedgerows provide vital food and shelter for many species of birds, mammals, insects, amphibians, and reptiles. As well as being wildlife corridors, linking woodland habitats, they also play a role in preventing soil erosion, reducing flooding, and capturing carbon.
The hedgerows across Gravetye Estate are in quite poor condition and have, historically, been maintained so that they are short, thin, and with too many gaps.
We have set plans in motion to manage our existing hedgerows more proactively – making our contribution to building back this important and disappearing habitat.
A new hawthorn hedgerow was planted in late 2022 following the course of the path from the hotel entrance to the gate that leads down to the stream that connects to Lower Lake. As the hedge establishes itself, protective fencing has been erected to stop the young trees from being eaten by deer. We will continue to build and add to all our hedgerows to continually enhance the biodiversity on the Gravetye Estate.