Bannau Brycheiniog (Brecon Beacons) National Park has announced a collaboration with local farmers in an innovative project aimed at restoring and building traditional boundaries across the park.

Traditional boundaries, such as hedges, are not just aesthetic features but play a crucial role in the ecosystem. Today, hedgerows are highly valued by people, and for many reasons.

These boundaries serve as biological corridors, enhancing connectivity within the landscape and providing vital resources for wildlife. Additionally, they contribute to carbon sequestration air quality improvement, and assist in managing the impact of heavy rainfall by slowing down water flows and improving infiltration. 

Hedgerows are also a part of our cultural heritage and historical record. In the past they were considered essential for marking ownership boundaries, and are still important for keeping livestock in or out of fields.

Under the initiative, over three years, more than 50 farms spread across the park will receive assistance to enhance their boundaries amounting to roughly 100,000 trees. This comprehensive scheme is designed to benefit both land managers and the environment, while also boosting the rural economy by generating employment opportunities for local contractors.

The project, spearheaded by Woodland Conservation Officer Sam Harpur, aims to plant more than 45,000 trees this year alone within the National Park, resulting in the creation of nine kilometres of new hedgerow.

These newly established boundaries will serve several crucial purposes: 

• Connect Habitats: Providing a corridor for wildlife, allowing for enhanced movement and biodiversity. 

• Carbon Sequestration: Locking in up to seven tonnes of carbon per year, contributing significantly to climate change mitigation efforts. 

• Livestock Shelter and Stock Barriers: Providing shelter for livestock while also serving as effective barriers. 

• Soil Erosion Control: Reducing runoff and soil loss, thus preserving soil health and quality. 

• Habitat Creation: Creating new habitats that attract a diverse range of wildlife, further enriching the park's biodiversity. 

Woodland Conservation Officer Sam Harpur said: “This project shows our commitment to environmental conservation and sustainable land management.

“By partnering with local farmers, we aim to build on relationships between agricultural practices and ecological preservation, ensuring the long-term health of our natural heritage.”