Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
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Hedge-ucation for our children

A new interactive microsite to teach children about the importance of hedgerows has been launched yesterday by Hedgelink UK on their website, funded by Defra, Natural England and the National Hedgelaying Society.

Hedgerows can be found in all areas of our countryside and towns and 112 rare species of birds, insects and animals call them home or use hedgerows for food. 

Aimed at children aged seven to eleven, the microsite gives children the chance to explore online the importance of hedgerows and includes fun interactive games to help them learn about hedgerows and the wildlife they support.  Children can learn about many of the animals, birds and insects that call hedgerows home, the plant species that grow in hedgerows, and how to look after hedgerows so they can grow properly.  There’s also a chance for children to get outside and take part in a hedgerow survey which will contribute to building a picture of the state of hedgerows.

The microsite is designed to help teachers to build learning about hedgerows and the environment into their lesson plans with lots of background information and activity sheets.

Wildlife Minister Huw Irranca-Davies said:
“This is a fun way for children to learn about our hedgerows and about the importance of the nature on our doorstep.

“Hedgerows are a part of our natural heritage and as well as providing us with blackberries, sloes, hazelnuts and elderflowers, they’re also vital for food and shelter for many birds, insects and animals, including many of our rarer species.” 

Helen Phillips, Chief Executive of Natural England said:
“Hedgerows are an essential feature of our countryside and contain an amazing range of wildlife.  The new learning pack is a great way for children to go on their own voyage of discovery and find out more about why our hedgerows are so important for wildlife and why it is so important to look after them”.

Rob Wolton, chair of Hedgelink , said:
“Hedgerows are well worth learning about.  They offer so much to society, not just as wildlife havens but as a rich part of our landscape and history, and they help to prevent soil from being lost from fields and crop pest predators to survive the winter.”

“This new teaching resource will help children not only learn a lot about hedges and why they are so worthwhile looking after, but also to understand more about the natural world and the impacts we have on it.”

Hedgelink UK is the UK Hedgerows Habitat Action Plan group comprised of UK government Departments, non-governmental bodies, and environmental stakeholders. The microsite has been developed for the group by Farming and Countryside Education (FACE) with help from hedgerow experts and teachers.

Notes to editors

  1. The microsite can be found at http://hedgelink.org.uk/
  2. The microsite includes activities that will help deliver citizenship, maths, art and geography curricula.
  3. Hedgelink UK members are: ADAS; Bat Conservation Trust; Butterfly Conservation; Campaign for the Protection of Rural England; Centre for Ecology and Hydrology; Country Land and Business Association; Countryside Council for Wales; Defra; Department of Agriculture and Rural Development – Northern Ireland; Dorset County Council; Dutch Hedgelaying Society (affiliated member); Farming and Wildlife Advisory Group; Irish Hedgelaying Society; National Farmers Union; National Hedgelaying Society; Natural England; Norfolk County Council; People’s Trust for Endangered Species; Scottish Natural Heritage; Tree Council.

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