The Great Big Dorset Hedge (GBDH)

Is a long term campaign to facilitate the restoration and extension of hedgerows across all of Dorset.

For the project to happen we need teams of volunteers to help survey the hedgerows of Dorset, and very crucially we require volunteers to collate and manage the mapping of these surveys and the data each survey produces. 

Watch our Short Film on our Volunteering page to hear about the project,  volunteering and surveying.

To help us at whatever level you can offer, just Volunteer Here


Our Plan: An Overview

To survey and assess the condition of the vast network of Dorset hedgerows to determine if they can be improved by, for example, hedge laying, planting up gaps, leaving of occasional standards or slight changes to maintenance schedules.

To work closely with Landowners and Farmers - the all important Custodians of many of Dorset’s Hedges.  Working together we can complete the surveys of these hedges and provide much needed information and resources to ensure improved biodiversity and good practise of hedgerow management.

To create an understanding within the general community of what a healthy hedgerow looks like, the value of hedgerows as a key habitat for wildlife and their importance in providing protection against the effects of climate change.

To map the survey results as hedges are surveyed and determine recommendations for the hedgerows. Making lasting connections with Landowners.


Our Vision:

It may take a generation for it to be achieved but we can imagine a county wide network of connected, well-managed hedgerows, stretching across the entire county of Dorset, so that every community has an opportunity to get involved.

By helping to restore the hedgerow network of Dorset we aim to create vital habitat connections, linking fragmented ecosystems including rural to urban areas where gardens are a vital refuge area for wildlife and a source of biodiversity. This is why we are calling it the Great Big Dorset Hedge.

We want to catch the imagination of people across Dorset, so the campaign takes shape and grows alongside the hedgerow. Imagine gaps or lost connections in a hedge being planted up, in many cases by local tree planting groups with the young and old working side by side, connected by a common desire to see more hedges and trees in Dorset.

We hope the Great Big Dorset Hedge will helping people to feel more connected with the places where they live and work, with nature, and with their communities through a shared scheme that actively helps nature recovery.


Great Big Dorset Hedge Funders:

National CPRE Hedgerow Heroes

Dorset CPRE

Julia Hailes Rewilding

Dorset National Landscape (Formerly AONB)

Jenny Morrisetti of Sustainable Dorset

Sladers Yard

West Dorset Beekeeping Association

Corscombe Parish Council

Dorset Farmers & Landowners*

Are the above all kind financial supporters and funders of The Great Big Dorset Hedge Project.

*Several farmers have chosen to make charitable donations and have as a result secured a more complete surveying service from us.

We are pleased that so many people are starting to realise the importance of hedgerows. Find some recent articles and interviews below;

CPRE Spring Article 2024 details funding for Dorset Can’s Great Big Dorset Hedge Project | DCAN

GBDH’s John Calder interviewed on Alfred Radio Shaftesbury talking about ELMS, funding for farmers, delays at DEFRA and lack of Govt action.

Lyme Regis: pilot project to enhance hedgerows gets council backing | Bridport and Lyme Regis News (

Farmers urge UK government to fund hedge creation to bolster biodiversity | Green politics | The Guardian