Hedgerows are heroes… who knew?

Back in February we were delighted to help the Stourbridge Canal and River Trust plant 250 hawthorn saplings along a stretch of unprotected canal bank at Bullock Bridge, Stourport. We’d been keen to get more environmentally involved in our area of  Kidderminster, but wanted to investigate where we could make the biggest impact. We’d already sponsored Kidderminster-based litter-picking group The Pickup Artists and were regularly litter-picking with them around Easter Park, where our head office is based, and asked Michelle Medler, its founder, for advice. She did her research and suggested we support the Stourbridge Canal and River Trust by investing in some much-needed hedging along a stretch of canal that had been vandalised by fire, destroying the hedgerow and fencing.

The Intergas team, together with volunteers from the Pickup Artists and the Stourbridge Canal and River Trust, worked together all day to get the job done and, despite it being fairly back-breaking, we felt great when all 250 saplings were safely planted.

Speaking about the day, Terri Hickman, Marketing Communications Manager, Intergas Heating Solutions said: ‘This project wouldn’t have been possible without the collective effort of our amazing Intergas team, the Stourbridge Canal and River Trust and the local Pickup Artists. Your commitment  to making a difference is truly remarkable, and we are proud to be part of a community that comes together to create positive change.’

For us every day’s a school day and we have learned so much about the importance of hedgerows we thought we’d share some of our newfound knowledge:

  1. Hedgerows may play a significant role in reducing the rate of climate change, through carbon storage. A new hedgerow may store 600 – 800 kg of CO2 equivalent per year per km, for up to 20 years.
  2. Hedgerows can act as corridors along which wildlife can move, reducing the effects of habitat fragmentation and isolation and protecting the vulnerable animals.
  3. Hedgerows are valued for the major role they play in preventing soil loss and for their potential to regulate water supply and reduce flooding.
  4. Hedgerows can significantly reduce the amount of soil erosion on a landscape. They can also provide a barrier to filter out pollutants, such as pesticides, and slow down sediments and organic material that can flow from fields into waterways.
  5. Hedgerows mark boundaries and provide privacy, but are also effective wind barriers. Unlike walls and fences, hedges filter the wind, creating a sheltered microclimate that allows plants to thrive in improved growing conditions.