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Enhancing nature and habitats through conservation at Hornbeam Wood Hedgehog Sanctuary

Updated: Jun 6

Hertfordshire County Council Woodland Creation Officers work with Hornbeam Wood Hedgehog Sanctuary to deliver habitat improvements.



Increasing biodiversity and wildlife at Hornbeam Wood Hedgehog Sanctuary

Ralph and Hannah, Woodland Creation Officers from Hertfordshire County Council (HCC), delivered the Your Tree (Our Future) scheme at the sanctuary to aid with the enhancement of biodiversity and conservation, particularly focusing on habitat creation for wildlife.



Hornbeam Wood Hedgehog Sanctuary's long-term project

The plantation of hedgerows and standard trees is a long-term project, so it will take a few years to see the changes, but it will be a fantastic place for wildlife in the local Harpenden/Wheathampstead area.


HCC and the Woodland Creation Officers' role

Countryside Management Service volunteers, alongside Ralph and Hannah, came to advise the sanctuary on woodland creation and assist from inception to delivery.

Their first visit was to carry out all the preparatory work, so preparing the ground, pruning any overhanging foliage. During subsequent visits, CMS volunteers planted 400 metres of hedgerow and 26 light standard trees at the sanctuary.


A man strimming overhanging foliage

Why are hedgerows important for our wildlife?

Hedgerows play a crucial role in supporting biodiversity and providing habitat for wildlife in the United Kingdom.


Habitat diversity

Hedgerows provide a diverse range of microhabitats for various plant and animal species. The different layers of vegetation, including shrubs, trees, and the ground cover, offer nesting sites, shelter, and food sources for a variety of wildlife.


Biodiversity Support

Hedgerows contribute to overall biodiversity by hosting a wide range of plant species. This diversity attracts various insects, which in turn support birds and other animals higher up the food chain.


Food Source

Hedgerows offer a variety of food sources for wildlife. Plants such as berries, nuts, and fruits provide sustenance for birds and mammals, while the insects living in the hedgerows serve as a crucial food source for many bird species.


Further information on how hedges are beneficial to British wild hedgehogs can be found on our website:


At Hornbeam Wood Hedgehog Sanctuary, we are grateful to HCC and their CMS volunteers for their hard work in improving our habitats for wildlife at the sanctuary and assisting us to continue our conservation journey.



Hornbeam Wood Hedgehog Sanctuary (http://www.hwhs.org.uk)

Written by Lorraine Stapleton

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