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To frame this in a different way, how would woodland areas (or what the article is calling hedgerows) work before the Enclosure Movement? Would there have been more diversity? A different approach to agriculture?

I find this article a bit odd in it's approach (although supportive of more hedgerow area) and in inquiry of where the concept of hedgerows came from.

Hedgerows pre-date the enclosure act by centuries, land has always been demarcated. The enclosure act relates to the takeover of common land.

Thanks for clarifying, didn't know that.

Hedgerows were, and are, natural living fencing.

For farmers with livestock 'hedge-laying' is something that needs doing every 50 years or so (if well maintained) to ensure the lower sections are animal proof. Take a look at the British National HedgeLaying Society (NHLS) which holds national championships. Our local farming shows often hold competitions too (a neat way to get some of our hedges done for free!):


I don't think hedges are really woodland areas? It's only a small line of hedge for many acres of corn or grass or something.

In many areas, the hedges are also connected to smaller "copses" or woods since there are plenty of places where the land wouldn't practically support planting crops. In other more wild places, the hedges are much more hap-hazard and are part of the overall wooded area with a mixture of trees, shrubs and grasses.

Some areas though, where farming conditions are pefect, look much more like the USA Mid-west where all you can see are large areas of crops and border hedges.

Either way, they can still provide valuable protection, nesting and food for insects, birds and small animals.

They’re not, though in the extremely deforested british isles they might be accounted for to run up the numbers.

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