Managing hedges and edges
Edge habitats such as hedges, ditches and banks can be a haven for bumblebees. They are particularly important in providing forage plants at the start and end of the bumblebee nesting season, when flower-rich grassland areas are being grazed or have been cut.
Edge habitats can also offer very important nesting and hibernation sites, providing relatively sheltered and undisturbed conditions with plenty of tussocky areas and abandoned rodent holes. They also play a vital role in connecting up larger areas of habitat in the landscape.
Hedges and edges should not be disturbed between March and September when they are providing forage and nesting sites. Hedges should be cut in rotation and some should be left uncut for 2/3 years at a time. No chemical fertiliser should be applied to the base of hedgerows, and any gaps could be planted up with bumblebee-friendly shrubs.
For more information on managing hedges and edges for bumblebees, click here to download our factsheet.
Please be aware that each site is unique and the recommended management approach will depend on local site conditions and the historical or traditional management regime. For site-specific advice, please contact your local Bumblebee Conservation Trust Conservation Officer – firstname.lastname@example.org.
Funding options for hedges and edges
Entry Level Stewardship (ELS)
EB1: Hedgerow management on both sides of a hedge
EB2: Hedgerow management on one side of a hedge
EB3: Enhanced hedgerow management
EB4: Stone faced hedgebank management on both sides
EB5: Stone-faced hedgebank management on one side
EB6: Ditch management
EB7: Half ditch management
EB8: Combined hedge and ditch management (incorporating EB1)
EB9: Combined hedge and ditch management (incorporating EB2)
EB10: Combined hedge and ditch management (incorporating EB3)
EB12: Earth bank management on both sides
EB13: Earth bank management on one side
EC4: Management of woodland edges
EC24: Hedgerow tree buffer strips on cultivated land
EC25: Hedgerow tree buffer strips on grassland
Higher Level Stewardship (HLS)
HB11: Management of hedgerows of very high environmental value (both sides)
HB12: Management of hedgerows of very high environmental value (one side)
HB1: Management of ditches of very high environmental value
HC15: Maintenance of successional areas and scrub
HC16: Restoration of successional areas and scrub
HC17: Creation of successional areas and scrub
Organic Entry Level Stewardship (OELS)
Open to all farmers, including those in the uplands, who manage all or part of their land organically, to deliver simple yet effective environmental management. OELS agreements are for 5 years.
Glastir is a 5 year whole farm sustainable land management scheme available to farmers and land managers across Wales.
Agri-environment schemes have operated in Scotland since 1987. These schemes have now closed to new applicants however some assistance may be gained through The Scotland Rural Development Programme (SRDP).
The SRDP is a programme, worth some £1.5 billion, designed to help develop rural Scotland. The programme is spread over six years and provides help and support to individuals, and groups, in order to help create a wealthier and fairer rural Scotland.
Some of the closed agriculture schemes will now be replaced by new 'funding packages,' operated by the SRDP. The SRDP also brings together a wide range of formerly separate support schemes in areas such as: farming, forestry, rural enterprise and business development.
The scheme is designed to help meet national economic, social and environmental targets; and it is hoped that the scheme will be of great benefit to rural communities.
Some of the SRDP schemes and initiatives include:
Crofting Counties Agricultural Grant Scheme
Food Processing, Marketing and Co-operation Grant Scheme
Forestry Commission Challenge Funds
The LEADER initiative
Less Favoured Area Support Scheme
Rural Development Contracts
Skills Development Scheme
“Few people realise just how important bumblebees are. They are charming little things and a pleasure to see, but they also do an essential job which many people take for granted. If bumblebees continue to decline then we face ecological turmoil. Join BBCT today and support their important work.”
Naturalist, Television presenter
and BBCT President