Our hedgerow campaign: helping people and nature tackle the climate crisis

Adults sit and enjoy the view of green fields
A group sit and enjoy the countryside views from the Surrey hills Bill Waters / CPRE

#40by50: we’re calling on the government to commit to extending the hedgerow network by 40% by 2050.

Our humble hedgerows are the unsung heroes of the countryside. They’ve been adding beauty and character to our landscapes for centuries, while providing the food and shelter that sustains our wildlife. They protect the soil, clean the air and absorb carbon emissions.

But we’ve lost around half since 1945. Now, as we face up to the climate emergency, we need urgently need to start reversing that decline – and allow our hedgerows to play their most important role yet.

'The government seems to have forgotten our hedgerows.'

That’s why we’ve launched our #40by50 campaign, calling on ministers to commit to extending the hedgerow network by 40% by 2050, as recommended by the independent Climate Change Committee.

This will mean adding over 4,000 miles of new and restored hedgerows per year – starting now. There’s simply no time to lose.

Support our #40by50 campaign, calling on the government to commit to extending the hedgerow network by 40% by 2050.

Our message to the government

We at CPRE have long been passionate advocates for hedgerows, and now some of the UK’s leading environmental and countryside organisations are already supporting our call for #40by50.

CPRE chief executive Crispin Truman was joined by the senior figures from the Woodland Trust, Greenpeace, RSPB, Tree Council, Wildlife Trusts and many others in signing a joint open letter published in The Times.

They argue that ‘now is the time for ministers to show real leadership by committing to this target… to deliver a more resilient, beautiful and biodiverse countryside.’

Read the full letter and list of signatories here.

A girl picking berries from a hedgerow

Hedgerow heroes

We’re enlisting an army of heroes – over 600 volunteers, 15 schools and two colleges!

Led by five of CPRE’s local groups (Gloucestershire, Shropshire, Hampshire, Oxfordshire and Suffolk), working with local landowners, we’re aiming to plant or restore almost 10 miles of hedgerow by May 2022.

This will bring massive environmental benefits – and connect people to practical conservation work in their local countryside.

Watch this space for updates on this exciting project – and bravo to all our hedgerow heroes!

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A teenage girl holds a Tupperware container with blackberries in

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