Action: Plant new hedges
Key messagesRead our guidance on Key messages before continuing
- We found no studies that evaluated the effects of planting new hedges on bat populations.
‘We found no studies’ means that we have not yet found any studies that have directly evaluated this action during our systematic journal and report searches. Therefore we have been unable to assess whether or not the action is effective or has any harmful impacts. Please get in touch if you know of such a study for this action.
Hedgerows provide important commuting and foraging habitats for bats within open agricultural landscapes. Frey-Ehrenbold et al (2013) found bat activity to be 1.4–2.8 times higher along linear features such as hedgerows than in open farmland areas, and one study in the UK found bats to be highly sensitive to the loss of hedgerows (Pocock & Jennings 2008). Planting new hedges within farmland may benefit bats. However, it will take a considerable amount of time for hedgerows to become established and sufficiently mature. Existing hedges should therefore be retained where possible. See ‘Maintain hedges to benefit bats’. For studies that may carry out this intervention alongside other interventions to benefit bats on farmland, see ‘Introduce agri-environment schemes’.
Frey-Ehrenbold A., Bontadina F., Arlettaz R. & Obrist M.K. (2013) Landscape connectivity, habitat structure and activity of bat guilds in farmland-dominated matrices. Journal of Applied Ecology, 50, 252–261.
Pocock M.J.O. & Jennings N. (2008) Testing biotic indicator taxa: the sensitivity of insectivorous mammals and their prey to the intensification of lowland agriculture. Journal of Applied Ecology, 45, 151–160.