We are currently carrying out surveys to look into the biodiversity found in hedgerows in Jersey. We will compare what we find before and after the branchage happens. Hopefully we will be able to carry out these surveys over the next few years to have a better idea of how the branchage might be affecting our biodiversity.
Hedgerows are important habitats for birds, small mammals, insects and butterflies. They provide corridors, connecting different habitats. They also reduce soil erosion by cutting the wind speed. The branchage law requires overhanging vegetation to be cut to clear roads and footpaths to ensure visibility. Vegetation is cut biannually in June/July and again in September. Hedgerows, often the boundary between agricultural land and roads, are usually cut back as well as the ground vegetation underneath. Previous research has shown that reduced hedgerow cutting has been shown to benefit biodiversity so we are concerned about the effect the branchage might have on our biodiversity in Jersey.