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Hedgerow Heroes

Hedgerows Heroes Partnership

Hedging towards a thriving future

Northern Ireland’s biodiversity is declining. According to the latest State of Nature report, 11% of species are threatened with extinction across the island of Ireland.

In response, Eco-Schools are searching for 11 local schools that want to champion the recovery of Northern Ireland’s nature.

Hedgerows Heroes, in partnership with Moy Park, will help rewild your school grounds for good and create an area of hedgerows that establish life-sustaining habitats and food sources for our stricken native wildlife.

The wild road to recovery

The successful Hedgerow Heroes schools will embark on a journey that includes three workshops:

  • Session 1 – Select where to plant your hedge and Workshop on Tree ID (Oct 2023)
  • Session 2 – Hedgerow planting session and Workshop on Biodiversity and Habitats (Nov-Dec 2023)
  • Session 3 – Citizen Science Session with Workshop on Bird ID (Big Garden Bird Watch) (Jan-Feb 2024)

Each school will receive a 20-metre long native hedgerow, which will be planted by the students, and educational, hedgerow-themed signage as a complement to the project.

Selected schools will also have a follow-up visit in year 2 of the programme, to provide ongoing advice and support on management and maintenance of their hedge.

Become a local hedgend!

Applications for Hedgerows Heroes are now closed.

All schools in Northern Ireland are eligible for the project. However, due to the physical nature of some elements of the field work, the minimum classroom age for an application is P5+.

Multiple submissions from the same school are permitted, but no more than one class (or an amalgamated group of 30 students) will be able to participate in the project.

Please read the Hedgerow Heroes terms and conditions before starting your application. Good luck!

Download application form

View terms and conditions

Hedgerow heroics

Although they might not seem impressive, hedgerows are mighty important habitats. Not only do hedgerows provide shelter and food for many species of mammals, birds and insects, but some hedgerows have been found to host more species of plants than corresponding woodland and grassland. Further benefits include:

  • Wildlife corridors that allow dispersal between otherwise isolated habitats
  • Ecosystem services such as carbon capture, air and water filtration, pest control, crop pollination, and the reduction of soil erosion and flooding
  • Navigation aids for many species of bats that can even allow them to extend their foraging and roosting capacity

However, throughout the 20th century, many hedgerows have been removed in rural areas (approximately 118,000 miles of hedgerow in the UK), and also increasingly in urban areas, where it is now uncommon to see a native hedgerow providing a boundary.

The new hedgerows that we plant will act as a way of connecting isolated habitats together as a nature recovery network. With time, they will also act as excellent places for education and provide opportunities for wild foraging.

Hedges for Habitats

Growing hedgerows into tomorrow

The Hedgerow Heroes project is funded by Moy Park, and over the next three years will see Eco-Schools work with 33 schools across Northern Ireland to create hundreds of metres of hedgerows and habitats for nature.

Got a question?

Let us know if we can assist with extra information on the project or application process here.