Devon Hedge Group
The Devon Hedge Group is a forum of organisations and individuals interested in working together to promote the appreciation and conservation of hedges found across the county. Members of the Group represent the full range of interests associated with hedges in Devon, including agriculture, the conservation of wildlife and landscape, and historical and cultural values.
Formed in 1994, it has been steadily growing in strength and influence. It has succeeded in generating a great deal of media attention, and has already done much to raise the profile of hedges in the county. We have produced a number of quality publications, including The Economics of Sustainable Hedge Cutting (1.57MB - pdf help) and an award winning hedge pack, and have been commended by a House of Commons Select Committee for our work.
Member organisations include: National Farmers Union (represented by several farmers as well as officers), Country Land and Business Association, Natural England, Devon County Council, District Councils, Dartmoor and Exmoor National Park Authorities, Farming and Wildlife Advisory Group (FWAG), Devon Rural Skills Trust, Campaign to Protect Rural England, National Trust, Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors, Devon Wildlife Trust, Royal Society for the Protection of Birds, the Blackdown Hills Hedge Association and the Forestry Commission.
The Devon Hedge Group are keen to encourage good hedge management and are looking at how this work might best be funded. Traditionally, hedges have been an important source of firewood and recent research has shown how important hedges can still be for be for fuel.
Since 1995, the Devon Hedge Group has organised the annual Devon Hedge Week, usually durting autumn half term. Each year a different hedge related theme is chosen as a focus for the week and around two dozen events are porganised by partner organisations around the county.
In May 2010, the Devon Hedge Group launched a major new project called Green Veins and Lanes – New Life for Devon’s Hedges which ran until December 2012. The aim of the project was to increase public understanding and appreciation of Devon’s rich hedgerow heritage, and to promote active participation in the management and conservation of hedges.
The full Group meets up to four times a year, and is served by a Publicity Sub-Group which also holds quarterly meetings.