CPRE releases ground-breaking new research into hedgerows

George Tomlinson

7th September 2021

A new report investigates the huge environmental and economic benefits of hedgerows and shows that boosting them by 40% would create 25,000 jobs over the next 30 years and yield almost £4 for every £1 invested.

The new research, undertaken independently by the Organic Research Centre, is laid out in a report: ‘Hedge fund: investing in hedgerows for climate, nature and the economy‘.

We’re launching the report in parliament to urge the government to set a target to increase the hedgerow network by 40% by 2050, as recommended by the climate change committee – a win-win-win for climate, nature and the economy.

Hedgerows for nature, the climate and people

CPRE has long argued that hedgerows could be champions of climate action and nature recovery. But our new analysis has laid out how expanding hedgerow cover can contribute tens of thousands of jobs to hard-hit local communities.

Investing in 40% more hedgerows would support around 25,000 full-time equivalent jobs in hedgerow planting and management over the next 30 years across both rural and urban areas.

For every £1 invested in hedgerows, as much as £3.92 is generated in the wider economy due to key environmental and economic benefits provided by hedgerows. We want to see these benefits recognised by the government and clear targets and plans, of the sort already announced for tree-planting, set. Local authorities can support community groups to plant more hedgerows while farmers can help by letting hedgerows grow taller and bushier.

Now’s the time: the UK hosts COP26, the international climate summit, in Glasgow in less than two months. CPRE is calling on the government for a firm commitment: set a target to increase the hedgerow network by 40% by 2050.

Crispin Truman, CPRE’s chief executive, said:
‘Half of our precious hedgerows have been ripped from the landscape since the second world war and we’ve seen a huge decline in nature and soaring carbon emissions. There’s a lot of work to do.

We’re calling on ministers to set a target to increase the hedgerow network by 40% by 2050 with improved protection for existing hedgerows. This would be seen as a bold step by the UK government in the lead up to hosting the international climate summit to support nature’s recovery, help grow us out of the economic downturn and tackle the climate emergency head-on.’

Read more on the National CPRE website.

Support the CPRE #40by50 campaign, calling on the government to commit to extending the hedgerow network by 40% by 2050. Sign the petition now