Helping Hedgerows, Linda's blog

My name is Linda Butterworth. I am a project officer within the national environment team and I would like to tell you the story of our hedges.

Linda Butterworth, Helping Hedgerows Linda Butterworth, Helping Hedgerows

The Trust owns over 600 miles of hedgerows and they form part of a vital green corridor along the 2,000 miles of our waterways. They are boundary markers, green heritage features and a safe haven for birds, butterflies and bees – all rolled up into a living landscape to be enjoyed by all of us.

People's Postcode LotteryThree years ago we started a hedgerow health check, supported by funds from players of People’s Postcode Lottery and conducted in part by many of our dedicated volunteers.  

How healthy were our hedges?

These hedgerows needed some help!

Gaps had formed, their general condition needed to be improved and the link between differing sections and other green spaces needed to be connected.

So a plan was formed and the appropriately named Helping Hedgerows Project started to pick up momentum.

So what did we do?

Based on the survey, we went back to our local waterways, liaised with our local ecologists and volunteer leaders to agree on suitable hedgerows needing some care.

Volunteers for Helping HedgerowsWe asked our local communities for help in transforming our hedges back to healthy thriving green links vital for wildlife and people. And wow did our local communities respond!


  • Close to 1,000 volunteers, braving the winter weather, supported us from over 57 volunteers groups – hedge laying, planting and gapping up all over the network.
  • Almost 20kms of hedgerow received some care – equivalent to over 900 narrowboat lengths
  • 23 volunteer training days were organised, with 188 volunteers being trained in the land management skill of hedgelaying.

Thank you volunteers!

Helping Hedgerows, our vailant volunteersThese groups did a fantastic job – they ranged from junior rowers putting a bit back to the river they row on, to mental health groups seeking a distraction from their troubles, to adoption groups working hard on their favourite patch and corporate days providing a change in work practices and team building. 

They benefitted, our hedgerows benefitted and for me personally I benefitted from meeting and working with a wide range of interesting people, who have a passion and commitment to making their local community a better place to be.

All thanks to support by funds from Players of People’s Postcode Lottery.

Where does the story go from here?

Well this work was only the start. Many miles of hedgerow still need our help.

The Helping Hedgerows Project is hopefully here to stay!

Last date edited: 16 June 2016

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