The Nature Conservation Group for the Prestwood Area

About Prestwood Nature

We are the Nature Conservation Group for the area around Prestwood, including Great Missenden,
The Hampdens, The Kingshills, North Dean and Speen

Our Aims

Prestwood Nature aims to protect and enhance the quality of the natural environment through the involvement of local people.

Coming events

Protecting Our Own Environment Registered charity No. 1114685

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For more information see the Events Page

Hedgerows

Field hedgerow, Michaelmas Farm, PrestwoodSpecies-rich hedgerows (defined by the Bucks Biodiversity Action Plan as those containing 5 or more native woody species on average per 30m) are frequent in our area.  They are important habitats for plants (including survivors from ancient woodland), insects, birds, bats and small mammals.  They provide crucial linkages between wildlife sites by providing sheltered routes across open agricultural land.  Some are very old, dating back over a thousand years.  The oldest hedgerows are often marked by a bank and ditch, plus the remains of past “laying” of hedgerow shrubs (especially hazel and hornbeam), where stems were partly cut and laid horizontally, throwing up vertical shoots that created an impenetrable stock-proof barrier.

Our area, like much of the Chilterns, has kept more of its ancient hedgerows than many others, but has still lost a quarter of them since 1900.  Losses were mainly due to the expansion of field sizes with concentration of ownership in the late 19th century (16% vanished for this reason between 1850 and 1900) and building development in the 20th century.  Prestwood Nature has an ongoing programme for surveying all hedgerows in the area, of which about three-quarters has been completed.

Further information:   Hedge survey of Prestwood Parish