menu ☰
menu ˟

Developing a field boundary evaluation and grading system in Ireland


Collier, Marcus; Feehan, John;

Institution: Faculty of Agriculture, UCD in association with Teagasc
Subject Keywords: Dry stone wall; FBEGS; Field boundary; Hedgerow; Landscape management; Wallrow; Values; Dry stone walls--Ireland; Windbreaks, shelterbelts, etc.--Ireland; Agricultural landscape management;

The purpose of the study reported here was to develop an evaluation and grading system for
the main field boundaries in Ireland – hedgerows and dry stone walls. There is currently a
lack of scientific information on Irish field boundaries and very little research has been
carried out on what are among the most prominent landscape features on the island. Where
Irish data are lacking, values were extrapolated from research in other countries. In addition,
verbal consultation was carried out with prominent landscape ecologists, scientists and
environmental consultants. This consultation led to the creation of a draft survey form
modeled on an earlier Hedgerow Evaluation and Grading System (HEGS) (Clements and
Tofts, 1992) in the UK. The draft Irish survey, described here, is entitled the Field Boundary
Evaluation and Grading System or FBEGS for short. The FBEGS was field-tested in four
locations in Ireland by a number of users to assess usefulness and accuracy. Feedback from
volunteer surveyors led to an amended FBEGS survey form. This was then tested in ten
locations nation-wide. Results are given and a grading system is proposed. It is shown that it
may be possible to evaluate a field boundary using a simple grading system but the accuracy
of such a survey cannot be confirmed due to the lack of baseline data for Ireland. However,
preliminary trial surveys indicate that values assigned to a particular boundary approximate
well to professional opinion. Discussion concludes with some recommendations for potential

Suggested citation:

Collier, Marcus; Feehan, John; . () Developing a field boundary evaluation and grading system in Ireland [Online]. Available from: [Accessed: 18th October 2019].


View your saved citations and reading lists


Click here to view all the resources gathered from this organisation's website.