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Page last updated at 15:57 GMT, Monday, 8 March 2010
Helping to preserve Devon's ancient hedgerows
By Laura Joint
BBC Devon

Hedgerows
Hedgerows dominate the landscape in the South Hams

The hunt is on for the most beautiful hedgerows in Devon - and you can help in the search.

The quest is led by the Devon Hedge Group - a collection of individuals and organisations passionate about preserving the county's historic hedges.

The group wants to gather information on Devon's most bountiful hedgerows so that they can be conserved.

And the public is being asked to send in details of their own favourites.

Devon has more hedgerows than any other county in England.

Hedge with summer berries
Hedges full of summer berries in south Devon

It is estimated that there are 33,000 miles (53,000km) of hedgerow still in the county, and that we have about 20% of all the species-rich hedges left in the UK.

Many are over 1,000-years-old, and together they tell the story of Devon's landscape and farming traditions down the centuries.

The Devon Hedge Watch, launched on 13 March 2010, is looking for "the finest and most distinctive" hedges in the county.

In particular, more examples are needed of classic Dartmoor hedges with massive granite banks, and Exmoor hedgerows with beech trees.

The group is also looking for hedgerows which are rich in berries and flowers.

Chair of the Devon Hedge Group, Rob Wolton, said: "Working with the people of Devon and with the support of the county council, we hope to highlight some of the finest examples of Devon's magnificent hedges.

"This project will improve our knowledge of this important element of Devon's beautiful natural environment."

The first 50 entries sent in by the public will receive free copies of a book about Devon's hedges, while the first five will win a copy of a film about hedgerow management, A Cut Above the Rest.

To take part, complete the form on the Devon Hedges website - see the link below.




SEE ALSO
A patchwork quilt across Devon
13 Oct 09 |  Nature & Outdoors
A-Z of Devon's natural world
16 Dec 09 |  Nature & Outdoors


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