Hedgerows provide multiple benefits and are used in farming systems around the world. Hedgerows can be comprised of many types of trees, shrubs and ground cover and usually favour native species. Some of the functions of hedgerows (and windbreaks/shelterbelts) include:increased biodiversity and habitat for pollinators and other wildlife; microclimate enhancement; reduced erosion; food, timber, biomass, floral, botanical, medicinal production; reduced runoff; increased air and water quality; regulation of water flow between different areas along with creating aesthetic value and connectivity not just on the plot level- but the landscape level as well.
Establishment of the early stages of what now are four hedgerows located in the south east corner of the lower farm field, began back in 2005-2006 when Antonin van der Lely, an undergraduate in UBC Faculty of Land and Food Systems (LFS), completed a directed study titled Hedgerows, a way to save UBC Farm?. In 2008, LFS undergraduate Andrea Morgan began a directed study focusing on hedgerow establishment which continued and built upon what Antonin had started.
Andrea’s project was completed over a period of 1.5 years and included a great deal of research, consultation with experts, and volunteer contributions. UBC farm staff and student volunteers continue to maintain the hedgerows and add benefit to the site. For instance, the recently erected barn owl box will provide habitat for this species at-risk.