The Anglo-Saxon word for enclosure was ‘haeg’ or gehaeg’ and this is were we get the word ‘hedge’.

Animals in a Hedge

Many animals have adapted themselves to living in hedges, depending on each other and on the hedgerow plants. As the woodlands have decreased over the years, the animals in them have become more adapted for living in and around hedges. Almost all groups of animals may be found in a hedge, including mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians and many invertebrates.

Hedge Animals

 

 

 

 

 

Food chains in the hedgerow community

Every living thing in a habitat is dependent on another for its survival. As in all habitats, many food chains exist in a hedgerow. Some chains are short, others are long, but they all start with a plant and end in a ‘top’ predator (an animal which hunts, kills and eats another animal – ‘top’ predators are not usually eaten themselves). Here is an example of a food chain:

Hedge Foodchain

 

 

 

 

Each food chain has side-branches – there are other birds which eat earthworms for example. Many food chains linked together make up a food web. If one of these links is broken e.g. the blackbirds disappear from the community, then the delicate balance of the hedgerow is upset.

Read More: Why are Hedges Disappearing?

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