Cultural landscape

World Heritage Cultural Landscapes. Cultural Landscapes of Universal Value. Components of a Global Strategy. Proceedings of the International Meeting of Experts 15 to 19 September

Cultural landscape

A managed hedgerow is a line of woody vegetation that has been subject to management so that trees no longer take their natural shape. There are a further ,km of linear features such as relict hedges and lines of trees.

Between and Cultural landscape. Regularly managed, stock proof hedges have declined in England from through tobut with a period of no change between and These are based on several attributes each of which have been assigned thresholds to indicate whether a particular hedgerow is in favourable condition or not.

These attributes are listed below. In the past they were considered essential for marking ownership boundaries, and for keeping livestock in or out of fields. Although hedgerows remain vitally important for agriculture, these particular reasons for keeping hedges are less valid now, with the easy availability of accurate maps, GPS and wire fencing.

However, there are additional, new, strong, justifications for looking after hedgerows and for planting more. These new reasons recognise the importance of hedgerows as part of our cultural heritage and historical record, and for their great value to wildlife and the landscape.

Increasingly, they are valued too for the major role they have to play in preventing soil loss and reducing pollution, and for their potential to regulate water Cultural landscape and to reduce flooding. Hedgerows may even have a role to play in taking greenhouse gases out of circulation through carbon storage, if they are allowed to expand in size.

Certainly any loss exacerbates climate change to some extent. There were two other major uses for hedgerows in times past, and those were as a source of firewood, and for providing shelter from wind, rain and sun for crops, farm animals and people.

With fossil fuels becoming scarce and expensive, and the threat of more frequent and more violent storms, both these uses may soon once again come to prominence. Other uses of hedgerows today include screening unsightly development, providing privacy to homes, and as a source of berries for jams and material for various crafts like walking stick making.


Cattle, sheep and other livestock will often search out particular leaves and flowers from hedgerows to supplement their diet or to self-treat ailments — for example, ingestion of coarsely hairy plants like hogweed scours parasitic worms from the intestine.

This document PDF k provides a useful summary of the ecosystem services provided by hedgerows. Cultural and historical importance The UK is rightly known throughout the world for its rich and varied patterns of hedgerows, a part of our cultural and landscape heritage which ranks alongside great cathedrals, quaint villages and spectacular coastlines.

There is a popular belief that most hedgerows are recent additions to the countryside, having been planted across an open landscape under the Enclosure Acts of the early 19th Century.

In fact, at least half our hedges are older than this, and many are hundreds, some even thousands, of years old. Others are older still, being remnants of the original wildwood that covered Britain and Ireland before man started to carve out his fields.

So, a great many of our hedgerows are ancient and of historical interest in their own right. This is particularly true where they mark parish boundaries, ancient monuments or other such features.

Often beautiful old veteran trees, their lives prolonged by repeated pollarding over the years, reveal the great age of hedgerows and their importance to our ancestors.

We also have a rich tradition of different hedgerow management techniques, particularly of hedge laying, and this too is an important part of our cultural heritage, one which helps to give both a sense of continuity and one of place to local communities.

Further reading - Oliver Rackham. The History of the Countryside.

What hedges do for us

Dent and Sons, London. New Naturalist, Collins, London Landscape importance The networks of hedgerows, and in some places dry stone walls, that cover so much of our countryside pick out changes in topography, soils and underlying geology, and define current, and often past, patterns of agriculture and other land use.

Together with woods, roads and settlements, they give character to the landscape and impart much local distinctiveness.A cultural landscape is defined as "a geographic area,including both cultural and natural resources and the wildlife or domestic animals therein, associated with a historic event, activity, or person or exhibiting other cultural or aesthetic values." There are four general types of cultural landscapes, not mutually exclusive: historic sites.

Cultural landscape

World Heritage in Europe Today. World Heritage attracts and fascinates: media around the world publish thousands of articles about it every year and countries invest a great deal of work and money to get sites inscribed on UNESCO’s World Heritage.

You are in» home» About Hedgerows About Hedgerows | Importance of hedgerows Extent and condition. Countryside Survey estimated that there are ,km of ‘managed’ hedgerow in England. A managed hedgerow is a line of woody vegetation that has been subject to management so that trees no longer take their natural shape.

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For courses in Human Geography. Strengthening readers’ connection to geography through active, discovery-based learning. Trusted for its timeliness, readability, and sound pedagogy, The Cultural Landscape: An Introduction to Human Geography emphasizes the relevance of geographic concepts to human challenges.

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