|The average number of woody species of plants per 100 metres of hedgerow.|
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The average number of woody species of plants per 100 metres of hedgerow is a very useful environmental indicator. For hedges over about 50 years old it may also be a useful correlate of hedge age. (Newer hedges are often deliberately planted with a larger number of woody species, largely because of the ecological benefits.
Simply count the number of woody species over about 100m of hedgerow. In Britain hedges are typically dominated by Hawthorn or Blackthorn. Typical other species are Dog Rose, Elder, Ivy, Field Maple, Oak, Ash, Sycamore, Elm, Buckthorn, Holly, Hazel. Rare species are Spindle, Midland Hawthorn. For a full list see Hedgerow Regulations
NOTE The UK regulations are based on 30 m (approximately 100 ft). It may be necessary to change the tag name to reflect this.