Summary of Benefits of Hedgerow Associations
The Hedgerow Association produces numerous benefits, both for its users and for its region. Here we summarize the benefits of a residential Hedgerow Association with farmland – similar benefits will accrue to any Hedgerow Association, including commercial, municipal or industrial.
Benefits to the non-farming residents include:
- Beautiful, well-tended countryside, full of wildlife.
- Beautiful houses in well designed developments (whether “luxury” or budget).
- Owning your view – a view of an “unspoiled” landscape guaranteed to remain intact and improve.
- A quiet, peaceful and healthy environment.
- Fresh organic farm produce available.
- Traditional rural character, suitable for rearing children.
- Robust property values.
Benefits to the farming residents include:
- Creation of traditional small-scale organic farming jobs.
- Low capital investment – no costly machinery, chemicals or irrigation needed.
- Healthy, agreeable work.
- Reduced pressure from large-scale producers and foreign imports, thanks to monthly service fees.
Benefits to the local region include:
- New jobs, new residents, increased tax base.
- Beautiful landscape, enhancing the region’s appeal.
- The slowing or reversal of rural flight.
- The maintenance or enhancement of the region’s rural character through the establishment of small family farms.
- A productive alternative to agricultural subsidies.
- A diverse and healthy ecology.
- The reconciliation of new housing demand with environmental protection.
- Increased availability of traditional local produce, such as bread, vegetables, fruits, butter, honey, wine, pies and cheeses.
- Increased sense of community.
- Increased local food production.
- Since houses are built artisanally, using locally made products, we provide local employment.
Benefits to the ecology include:
- High species diversity, since the landscape combines many ecologically distinct zones, such as meadows, hedgerows, woodlands, glades and ponds. (Note: Species density is highest in “edge zones” – for example, the edge between a forest and field, or between a pond and the land. The Hedgerow Landscape is a dense tangle of edge zones.)
- Reduced erosion, loss of topsoil and loss of groundwater, thanks to hedges and trees.
- Reduced overgrazing, which causes erosion and topsoil-degradation.
- Reduced irrigation, which can pollute and deplete groundwater and topsoil.
- A drought-resistant landscape. The above-mentioned factors lead to a higher water table, and promote greater resistance to the diseases and pests that typically take hold in drought or stress situations (e.g. acid rain).