Hedge Planting in Hebden Bridge
In March, we completed our first hedge planting project in Hebden Bridge. The hedge planting was part of a Natural Flood Management (NFM) scheme funded by Calderdale Council.
With the help of 35 volunteers, we planted over 4500 saplings to create 760m of cross-contour hedgerows across the farm. The hedges are a mix of hawthorn, blackthorn, hazel, dog rose, and hornbeam. Once established, these diverse hedges will create bring multiple benefits:
- Soil retention: The roots of the hedges help to stabilize the soil on the slopes, reducing soil erosion during heavy rainfall events.
- Reduced runoff: The hedges act as a natural barrier to slow down the movement of water across the slope. This reduces the amount of runoff and therefore the volume of water and sediment entering the river downstream at peak flows.
- Increased infiltration: The hedges also help to increase the infiltration of rainwater into the soil, due to the increase of root mass. This can help to recharge groundwater resources and maintain base flow in rivers during dry periods.
- Habitat creation: The hedges are made of native species that provide habitat and food for a variety of wildlife, including birds, mammals, and insects, helping to boost biodiversity.
When planning this project, we always ensure any measures work alongside the farm business. Hedges were planted along the perimeter of fields, so there was minimal impact on the amount of available grazing land on the farm. Finding this balance is essential to encouraging more landowners to carry out NFM works on their land.
This project was a large task to undertake and finish before the end of the planting season, and would not have been possible without everyone who came to give us a hand. Thank you to all our dedicated volunteers who continue to support our work across the catchment.
If you are a landowner in Calderdale, Kirklees, or Wakefield and would be interested in free and confidential advice, please get in touch with email@example.com.