How hedgerows and field margins are perceived by different interest groups
It is often assumed that hedgerows and field margins are most valued for providing wildlife habitats for threatened species and refuges for beneficial organisms. Interviews with a range of people showed that farmers and members of the public were as much concerned with the aesthetic appeal of a hedged landscape as the ecological value of hedgerows per se. While agricultural advisers stressed the ecological aspects when talking from a professional capacity, they were equally taken by the landscape qualities when talking from a personal viewpoint. Farmers were most concerned with the practical management of the hedgerows on their own farm, but when thinking of hedgerows beyond their farm they were also more appreciative of the landscape aspects. In all cases the trust each group had in the statements and actions of the other groups was important. Future research, regulations and management practices need to take account of these different relationships.
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Aspects of Applied Biology