Welcome to the Somerset Hedge Group Website

What is a hedge? - a fence or boundary formed by closely growing bushes or shrubs

Become a member of the Somerset Hedge Group - Help to further the aims of the group (see below).
There are two versions of the Membership Form.
Click here for a form that can be completed electronically saved and emailed to Heather Harley: HJHarley@exmoor-nationalpark.gov.uk
Click here for a form that can be printed, completed by hand and posted

Please print, fill in and mail to Heather Harley, Conservation Officer (Farming and Land Management), Exmoor National Park Authority, Exmoor House, Dulverton, Somerset, TA22 9HL. Tel: 01398 322277. Membership is free but you may like to support the group by sending a donation with your application. Please make cheques out to 'Somerset Hedge Group'.


Covid-19: Hedge Group acitvity is currently limited. Hopefully, we will be back in action soon.

Photo Competitions
The Somerset Hedge Group Photogrpahic Competition entries #somersethedgetrees

To see the 2008 photo entries on , click here.
To see the 2010 photo entries on , click here.
To see the 2012 photo entries on , click here.
To see the 2014 photo entries on , click here.

New Book from the Deveon Hedge Group: Devon Hedges. Click here for details.

Progressing the Somerset Habitat Action Plan for hedges.

ThornflowerCelebrating Somerset's hedges

Somerset has a rich network of hedgerows and field boundaries ranging from the upland beech hedges of Exmoor, the Blackdown and Quantock Hills in the west, to the lowland ancient species-rich hedges throughout central Somerset, rising again to the stone walls and hedges of the Mendip Hills.

The Aims of the Group 

To promote good practice in hedge management  
To raise awareness and appreciation of the value of hedges to farming and non-farming communities 
To increase the conservation of the hedge network across the county

Hedge LayingThe need for the Somerset Hedge Group

The Somerset Hedge Group was formed in 1997 to co-ordinate the efforts of individuals and organisations who are concerned about hedgerows. The Somerset Hedge Group promotes responsible hedge management through demonstrations; competitions; advice on training courses, management and grant aid; publicity and other initiatives.

Numerous factors such as agricultural mechanisation, urban expansion, rural development and road building have affected hedgerows in the past 50 years.  Between 1984 and 1990, it is estimated that the total length of British hedgerows declined by 23% (DETR, 2000).  Not all of this decline is due to direct removal, in fact the main loss of hedgerow is now neglect and mismanagement.

Hedge EventSomerset has experienced less hedgerow loss than more eastern counties but it is important to manage the existing hedge resource.  Ancient and species-rich hedgerows are a now a "priority habitat" in the UK Biodiversity Action Plan (UK BAP) to help address the loss. Grants are now available to encourage appropriate management.

CowFarmer-orientated approach

The Somerset Hedge Group uses a farmer-orientated approach to promote good practice and listening to farmers is an important role for the Group.  The Group also acts as a forum for discussion where academics and practitioners alike are given the opportunity to share findings and experience.


For the latest events, check Diary Dates

Count from 9/2/2008 16:00

Over 90% of Somerset is farmed and most hedges occur on farmland