A Healthy Hedge Wide Web  

The Green Recovery Challenge Fund project to restore and manage the hedgerow network at the National Trust Killerton Estate, near Exeter, for the benefit of wildlife, landscape and people is now complete and has produced some fantastic results!  

In partnership with the National Trust, FWAG South West delivered the project to replace ‘lost’ hedgerows, improve the links between hedgerows and habitats as well as manage the whole of the estate’s hedgerow network for the benefit of wildlife and biodiversity. Working with the Estate’s tenant farmers and the NT Ranger Team the project: 

  • planted over 3km of new hedgerow – 50% more than the original target  
  • restored over 2km of hedgerow by traditional hedge laying - 6% more than the original target 
  • worked on 15 farms/sites at more than 37 individual locations across the estate 
  • employed 6 local contractors who hedge laid 1.6km, planted 2.75km of new hedge, erected 1.4km of fencing and built and cast up just under 1km of hedge banks   
  • helped NT volunteers hedge lay 415 metres and plant 275 metres of new hedge 
  • planted a total of 16,200 hedge trees of 21 different species – which will capture 2250 car miles of carbon each year 

A ‘Healthy Hedgerow Trimming Guide’ was also developed with a local hedge management contractor and piloted on a tenanted farm. This is ready to roll out across the estate to improve the quality of the whole network and potentially capture approximately 15,000 car miles of carbon each year in the future. 

Simeon Day, FWAG SW Hedgerow Project Manager, said “the project has been a fabulous opportunity to help enhance a landscape for the benefit of its communities – both wildlife and human! Not only has Killerton’s Hedge Wide Web been improved to enable it to grow even richer in biodiversity and allow wildlife to move freely but local people have also gained from employment and wonderful relationships have been built with local farmers across the estate who have supported us every step of the way.” 

This is just the start of the ambition to enhance the hedge network at Killerton and works have already been identified for the future – building on the great work of everyone involved in this successful Hedgerow Conservation Project. 

Devon hedge laying:

Hedge - wide - web:

Photo: Mark Neville/National Trust

New hedge planting at Martinsfield Farm and alongside an orchard:


New hedge planted on a misty morning:

New hedgebank:

Volunteers planting a new hedge:

 This project is now finished. Thank you to all who were involved.