Last updated: Fri 28 Jan 2011

Hedgerows photo competition

Can you capture the pattern of Somerset’s hedges through the seasons?

Somerset Hedge

Photo: John Marshall (Flickr) CC

Somerset has a rich network of hedgerows and field boundaries ranging from the upland beech hedges of Exmoor, the Blackdown and Quantock Hills in the west, to the lowland ancient species-rich hedges throughout central Somerset, rising again to the stone walls and hedges of the Mendip Hills.

The aims of the Somerset Hedge Group

  • To promote good practice in hedge management
  • To raise awareness and appreciation of the value of hedges to farming and non-farming communities
  • To increase the conservation of the hedge network across the county

The Somerset Hedge Group was formed in 1997 to co-ordinate the efforts of individuals and organisations who are concerned about hedgerows. The Somerset Hedge Group promotes responsible hedge management through demonstrations; competitions; advice on training courses, management and grant aid; publicity and other initiatives.

Numerous factors such as agricultural mechanisation, urban expansion, rural development and road building have affected hedgerows in the past 50 years. Between 1984 and 1990, it is estimated that the total length of British hedgerows declined by 23% (DETR, 2000). Not all of this decline is due to direct removal, in fact the main loss of hedgerow is now neglect and mismanagement.

Somerset has experienced less hedgerow loss than more eastern counties but it is important to manage the existing hedge resource. Ancient and species-rich hedgerows are a now a “priority habitat” in the UK Biodiversity Action Plan (UK BAP) to help address the loss. Grants are now available to encourage appropriate management.

The Somerset Hedge Group uses a farmer-orientated approach to promote good practice and listening to farmers is an important role for the Group. The Group also acts as a forum for discussion where academics and practitioners alike are given the opportunity to share findings and experience.

The Somerset Hedge Group organised an annual competition for amateur photographers. The deadline for this year’s Somerset hedges photo competition is 1 October 2014.

The challenge is to capture the patterns of Somerset hedgerows throughout the seasons. The contest is sponsored by the Campaign to Protect Rural England and Somerset County Council.

Click here to download the entry form.


  1. Entries to be submitted as digital images only, preferably in jpg format. Colour or black&white.
  2. Entries to be taken of flora within a Somerset hedge or clearly associated with a Somerset hedge.
  3. Open to AMATEUR photographers only.
  4. Each entrant may submit up to three images only.
  5. Entries must be the sole, previously unpublished work of the photographer.
  6. Entry confers unlimited use of the image for publicity and presentation by the Somerset Hedge Group.
  7. Entries may be displayed in print and electronic formats following the competition.
  8. Each entry to be submitted with an entry form.
  9. Entries to be sent either as an email attachment with the subject: SHG Photo Entry to [email protected] or on disk
  10. (non-returnable) to: Somerset Hedge Group, c/o 2 Nut Tree Cottages, Barton, Winscombe, Somerset BS25 1DU
  11. Entries must be received by noon on Monday 1 October 2014.
  12. Submission of an entry indicates acceptance of these rules.
  13. The judges’ decisions are final and no correspondence will be entered into.
  14. No alternative prizes will be awarded.
  15. Whilst every care will be taken, the Somerset Hedge Group cannot accept liability for lost, damaged or stolen property.

Contact information
Jon Marshall
Somerset Hedge Group
c/o 2 Nut Tree Cottages
Somerset BS25 1DU
Telephone 01934 844 844
Mobile 07779 719 969
Email [email protected]

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