Field boundaries are an essential farming resource – they divide up the land into different fields and protect crops from wandering livestock. They also offer shelter from winds, help to prevent soil erosion, provide shade and trap moisture during hot summer months.
Gower is famous for its high hedgerows and hedge banks, which can be found alongside many of the roads. Hedge banks are mounds of earth, raised up from the fields with hedges on top of them. They provide more shelter and protection to crops than hedgerows alone, but creating and maintaining them takes a lot of hard work!
Although field boundaries have a practical role in the landscape, they also contribute to its character and ‘sense of place’. For example: large areas of land without field boundaries, such as commons, have a more open, larger and ‘wild’ character than areas where fields are small and hedges are high, which often feel more enclosed and ‘intimate’.