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New hedgerow protections must be brought in 'before next election', we say

5th March 2024

The government has announced new hedgerow regulations to be brought into law to protect wildlife.

The regulations will include a two meter ‘buffer strip’ from the centre of hedgerows, and a hedge cutting ban between 1 March and 31 August.

The government said ‘the regulations will support the efforts of many farmers already carrying out vital work to protect hedgerows, providing important ecological benefits including wildlife habitats, slowing soil erosion and water run-off, supporting crop pollinators and absorbing carbon.’

Emma Marrington, CPRE landscape enhancement lead said:

‘We welcome the government’s extension of hedgerow protection and management measures, ending the limbo of recent months.

‘However, we remain concerned that the government is muddying the waters with complicated rule changes, such as including management measures in existing hedgerow protections. These could lead to more trouble for our vital hedgerows.

‘The protections must also be introduced before the next election, not simply ‘as soon as parliamentary time allows’.’

Man inspecting the fresh growth on a hedgerow
Clive inspecting the fresh growth on a hedgerow Will Amlot


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