Field research platforms
Experimental hedges were planted in 1961 at Monks Wood on former arable land. The arable land was converted to grassland and subsequently managed by a mixture of hay cutting and topping, plus occasional extensive livestock grazing, with no fertiliser or pesticide inputs. The hedgerows were managed by autumn or winter cutting on a 1 or 2 year cycle to maintain them at a height of 2–3 m. In autumn 2005 three hedgerows were divided into 32 contiguous plots of 15 m length. The following management treatments were allocated to plots at random in factorial combinations: (1) frequency of cutting (annual vs. biennial vs. triennial), and (2) timing of cutting (autumn September vs. winter January/February). In addition, we monitored two unmanaged plots that had not been cut for 15 + years, and were never cut during the current experiment. Each treatment combination of cutting frequency and timing was replicated either eight (for annually cut plots) or four times (for biennial and triennially cut plots).
The Monks Wood Hedgerow Experiment commenced in the 1960s and has developed since then (see 'capabilities' column). NERC ownership of the site by NERC, with a long-term lease to UKCEH, means the study has no fixed end date.
The Monks Wood Hedgerow experiment is globally unique.
UKCEH's partners for the Hedgerow study are Defra and Natural England.
The Monks Wood Hedgerow Experiment may be available for use by other research organisations, usually in collaboration with UKCEH: initial enquiries via Richard Pywell, UKCEH Wallingford. Users can access the data via the UKCEH Environmental Information Data Centre (EIDC).
The Hedgerow study site is located at Monks Wood National Nature Reserve, Cambridgeshire, eastern England (52.4026°N, −0.2357°W).
The Hedgerow Experiment is primarily funded by Defra and Natural England.
Users of the Hedgerow Experiment include: UKCEH researchers and PhD students; other UK and international researchers; Defra policy.
Area, city, farm, habitat
27 March 2023 13:05