CPRE Bucks is showing some heart for our Hedgerows, can you help?

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By Christa McDermott
27th August 2021

CPRE has recently launched the campaign #40by50 to ask the Government to commit to extending our vital hedgerows network 40% by 2050. We have joined together with many other charities and trusts to promote this campaign including the Woodland Trust, RSPB and Greenpeace.

Hedgerows are the unsung heroes of our countryside!

They provide enthralling vistas as part of our gorgeous landscape but their worth is far more than beauty. They absorb carbon emissions and are vital to much of our local wildlife that depend on them for shelter, protection, nesting, food and much more. Yet many are disappearing, indeed nearly half our hedgerows have been lost since 1945. That is some 300,000 miles and the threat continues. This has had a devastating effect on local wildlife and helps fuel climate change.

We need 4,000 miles of new or restored hedgerows a year to achieve the #40by50 goal. It is vital to protect some of our best loved and well known wildlife such as hedgehogs, bumble bees, voles, stoats and butterflies. Astonishingly as many as 600 plants, 65 birds, 20 mammal species and 1,500 insects depend on our hedgerow network, which provides a home to over 80% of our woodland birds. Hedgerows form a quintessential part of our landscape and mercifully store some 47 million tonnes of carbon dioxide. That is the equivalent of more than 3 million cars over 10 years!

It has been said that since 2000 we appear to have lost over half our hedgehogs from our countryside. They rely on our hedgerows for their home, for food and as pathways and so we need to restore and replant to help this vulnerable species. Hedgerows are also considered to support as many as 30% of our butterflies. These have been in rapid decline over the past few decades and we now seen so many fewer of these beautiful creatures with their numbers continuing to decline.

Why not consider planting a hedge if you have space in your garden, either as a feature or as a boundary. They are aesthetically attractive, provide excellent sound protection and you would be helping combat climate change and supporting local wildlife at the same time!

The best time to get planting is usually October – March so there is no better time to start! Click here for the RHS website which has tips on the best native shrubs to use. They have information on specific species with added interest throughout the year. A few of our favourites are:

  • Holly with its seasonal red berries.
  • Dog Rose and Wild Privet with beautiful light coloured flowers.
  • Spindle with its scarlet leaves and unusually shaped berries that robins adore.Hedge

For further details about hedgerows and the National campaign in general please click here.

Lastly, please show your support for our #40by50 campaign and help us achieve our target of 45,000 signatures by signing here.

 

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