A growing number of people are taking advantage of a growing number in the UK to create new and unique gardens by planting trees on windbreaks.
A study by the University of Reading has shown that around one third of the UK population now have a garden on a windbreak, which is a relatively new concept in the country.
It is thought that up to 80 per cent of the trees that grow in the windbreaks are actually native, with around two-thirds of them having been planted by the same individual, with one-third being hybrids.
Professor Michael Dyer, the study’s lead author, said: “The windbreak as we know it in the US has long been a relic from the past and now, for the first time in decades, there is a growing recognition of the benefits of trees on the windbreak.”
We have long recognised that windbreaks help maintain the climate and provide the habitat for many birds and butterflies, which in turn benefit from having trees close by.
“But the research shows that this is not the only benefit.”
Professor Dyer said that the wind breaks are now becoming increasingly popular in places such as Windsor, where they are also being used to create habitats for birds and other species.
Windbreaks are the natural habitat for a wide range of animals and plants, with a small number being native to the UK, while a growing amount of native species are also planted.
He added: “These trees are very important for bird survival and are therefore being planted on windbreak sites as part of the regeneration of wildlife.”
Dr Peter Breen, of the BirdLife Trust, said that although there are many factors involved in the process of creating a new habitat for native species, the wind break has proven to be a popular and effective method.
“The success of windbreaks in the past is not solely down to the fact that they are beautiful and inviting to the public, but the fact they are easy to maintain,” he said.
“There are no maintenance fees and it is not a complicated process, which means it can be a very effective way of creating new habitats for native birds and invertebrates.”
For more information, visit: http://www.birds.org.uk/news/environmental-news/windbreaks-are-renewing-biodiversity-and/homepage/Windbreaks-as-we-know-it-in-the-US-has-long-been-a-relic-from-the-(past)-and-now-in-)hundreds-of-years