Hedge Fund WIN!

Two ladies preparing ground for hedge planting

7th February 2023

Hedgerow Heroes at work in Watlington. Image credit Nicola Schafer

The government has announced an ambitious target to create or restore 30,000 miles of hedgerows a year by 2037, and 45,000-miles of hedgerows a year by 2050, under the new Environmental Improvement Plan 2023. In a landmark decision for hedgerows, the government target underpins aims to restore the UK’s hedgerow network and puts farmers at the heart of plans to reconnect and re-establish the country’s largest nature reserve. CPRE Oxfordshire hopes the county’s hedgerows will benefit.

CPRE has been campaigning for government to restore hedgerows by 40% by 2050, #40by50, for two years. This target was initially recommended by the independent Climate Change Committee and is equivalent to about 120,000 miles in Britain – halfway to the moon!

CPRE Oxfordshire and Wild Oxfordshire launched Hedgerow Heroes in 2020 and have worked with community groups and parish councils in Kidlington, Watlington and Eynsham to plant new and rejuvenate existing hedgerows. In March 2022, George Eustace, the then Secretary of State visited a community planting project in Watlington. Our thanks to all those who have supported our hedgerow campaign, including Oxfordshire residents who signed our national petition and our two local MPs – Robert Courts MP and Layla Moran MP – who joined 80 other parliamentarians around the country as ‘Hedgerow Heroes’.

Helen Marshall, Director of CPRE Oxfordshire said:

“The new hedgerow target is a great step forward, with a commitment beyond our 40 by 50 ask, which recognises the important role hedgerows hold in providing a network of biodiversity, habitats for wildlife and are a vital component in farming practice. We will now need action to help turn these targets into reality and look forward to seeing hedgerows increase and thrive.”

CPRE Oxfordshire is looking to continue their Hedgerow Heroes project and would be pleased to hear from schools and community groups that have land available where they might want to plant or restore a hedgerow. The charity is currently collecting expressions of interest for a possible project later this year. Contact Us