The Berkshire Hedgerow Survey

Over 30 years ago the work of Dr Max Hooper suggested that there was a significant correlation between the age of hedgerows and the average number of tree and shrub species they contained in a 30 yard stretch.

The aim of this project is to use hedgerow surveys to investigate the past landscape of Berkshire – not just the story of enclosure, but also the evidence for land use generally, especially Berkshire’s lost woodland (many hedgerows in the east of the county seem to have formed as ‘woodland relics’). The project will also investigate Berkshire’s historic territorial units (e.g. manors, parishes and hundreds) by studying the hedgerows that marked their boundaries.

To date the project has conducted a large survey in the parish of Barkham, building on work previously done by the project leader at Cookham. A survey of hedges is also being conducted as part of the Peasemore project. One of the aims of the Berkshire Hedgerow Survey is to investigate the potential for refining established survey techniques in order to produce more useful information on hedgerows. The approach so far has involved collecting information not just on the numbers of tree/shrub species but also hedge height and structure, the prescence of 'wood relic' indicator ground flora, and recording any earthworks associated with each hedgerow.

Contact Details:

The Project Leader of the Berkshire Hedgerow Survey is Dr Steve Clark. You can contact this project at:

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