Mark onto a plan the location of hedges in the local area andor, as part of a fieldwork survey, differentiate the activity as appropriate. Follow up with suitable geographical questions - eg what is the hedge like? When and why was it planted? How is it cared for?
Take photographs of a hedge once a month over the course of a school year.
Compare the photographs to develop an understanding of environmental change over the seasons.
Compare an area of arable farmland before and after hedge removal using the Ordnance Survey's Get-a-Map service (see article). For example, use Get-a-Map to search for Warboys (Cambridgeshire): note the farmland between Warboys and Warboys Wood; click "Historic Maps"; pan north to Warboys Wood; click "View aerial photo" - compare the old map with the aerial photo.
Use "What lives in a hedge?" in the article as an example of a small-scale ecosystem. How can a hedgerow be cared for so that it becomes a sustainable resource?
"Conserving Hedgerows" is a good teaching resource from the Heritage Council's websitewww.heritagecouncil.iepublicationshedgerowcontents.html
Investigate the reasons for hedgerow removal and its advantages and disadvantages.
How and why are farmers being encouraged to preserve hedgerows and plant new ones? See http:schools.ceh.ac.ukadvancedhedgeshedgerows4.htm and www.bbc.co.ukschoolsgcsebitesizesosteachergeography35509.shtml
There have been a number of well publicised disputes between neighbours about hedges, which can be used as examples of managing small-scale environmental conflicts. A web search on "hedge wars" will provide a number of case studies.