Campaign to Protect Rural England Standing up for your countryside

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Our achievements

 Hedgelaying helps restore these ancient landscape features Hedgelaying helps restore these ancient landscape features Photo: © Rob Wolton

CPRE has been campaigning on hedgerow protection for many years:

  • In the 1970s, CPRE began the campaign for England’s hedgerows to be protected by law. We were mobilised into action by the fact that between 1950 and 1975 the loss of hedges became, for many people, the most familiar and visible aspect of damage to the English countryside. We welcomed the introduction of the Hedgerows Regulations in 1997. 
  • Since then, we have surveyed English local authorities twice to see how well the Hedgerows Regulations are protecting important hedges. Our most recent survey, England’s hedgerows: don’t cut them out! was based on a survey of 133 local authorities. It explored how hedgerow protection varied around the country and made a series of recommendations to improve the Hedgerows Regulations.
  • CPRE is an active member of Hedgelink - a group of organisations who are working together for a better future for hedgerows. One of our projects was to develop a hedgerow management film A cut above the rest, which offers advice on how to manage our rich hedgerow heritage effectively and sensitively in the context of modern farming and land management.
  • In 2011 we published A little rough guide around the hedges, which explained why hedgerows matter and how people can help protect them. It also included a handy plant ID guide to help people get to know their local hedgerows.
  • Many of our CPRE branches have been involved in initiatives to protect hedgerows in their counties. For example, CPRE Oxfordshire and Herefordshire organised hedgerow surveys; CPRE East Riding organised a Hedgerow Award Scheme; Gloucestershire led a hedgerow restoration project and Cambridgeshire and Northamptonshire both held hedgerow themed events. CPRE Cheshire set up a Hedgerow Network. Most recently, CPRE Shropshire led the campaign against an application to remove over seven miles of hedgerow, which ended in the landowner withdrawing their request from the council.
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