New hedgerows boost Danbury's rich wildlife

A collaborative project run by Essex Wildlife Trust has planted over a kilometre of hedgerows throughout the Danbury Ridge Living Landscape area, for the benefit of wildlife

The Danbury Ridge, east of Chelmsford, is home to many amazing species of wildlife, including the adorable Hazel Dormice, shy Brown Hares and beautiful Yellowhammers, but continued fragmentation of their habitat here and elsewhere in Essex means they need our help. Wildlife needs to move to survive – to find food, to find shelter, to breed and to escape threats. Planting hedgerows helps them to do it.

So, over the winter, 7,000 native species saplings, covering close to 1,500 metres, were planted across private land in Danbury, by staff from Essex Highways, Ground Control Limited, the Environment Agency and the Danbury Ridge Living Landscape volunteers. Their hard work will help recreate lost wildlife corridors and reconnect isolated and vulnerable woodlands.

The project, part of the thriving Essex Wildlife Trust Danbury Ridge Living Landscape, saw collaboration between a variety of organisations, including Essex Wildlife Trust, the British Naturalist Society, Little Baddow Conservation Society, the National Trust, Danbury and Little Baddow Parish Councils, Chelmsford City Council and Essex County Council.

It was conducted as part of The Wildlife Trusts’ Living Landscapes initiative to restore, recreate and reconnect important wildlife habitats, so wildlife can move freely through the Essex landscape.

The project was made possible by the support of the Danbury Ridge Living Landscape volunteers, staff from the Environment Agency, Ground Control Limited and Essex Highways, as well as all those who provided financial support (Bakers of Danbury Limited, Ground Control Limited, Kelly Turkeys, One to One Personnel Limited and FB & AH Speakman). 

Planting has now ceased as we head towards the warmer months, but plans are already afoot to identify further areas to plant the next 'kilometre for wildlife' within this Living Landscapes. 

 For further information on the Danbury Ridge Living Landscape or if you are interested in supporting the next phase of this project as a volunteer or landowner, please contact Emma Ormond, Living Landscapes Coordinator, at emmao@essexwt.org.uk / 01621 862954.

Brown Hare

Brown Hare Photo - Elliott Neep