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About Hedges

Hedgerows: the unsung heroes of nature

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Hedges are the UK's largest priority habitat

Hedgerows – whether we’re talking the leafy border around your garden or the iconic patchwork across the British countryside – they have the remarkable potential to help us tackle climate change and biodiversity loss.

Yet we’ve lost 50% of our hedgerows since World War II – and around 60% of the hedgerows we still have aren’t in good condition.

So caring for our hedgerows is a real way we can tackle the environmental challenges of our time.

But we need everyone to get involved

Things you may not know about hedges

  • Hedges are brilliant at capturing carbon – annually, a new hedgerow can absorb the carbon produced by a car travelling over 1,000 kilometres
  • Due to their presence at the level of pedestrians, hedgerows are natural barriers to harmful air pollution in our streets
  • Hedgerows are the UK’s largest priority habitat – and are home to 80% of our woodland birds
  • 50% of UK hedgerows have been lost since WWII and of those that remain, 60% are badly-managed
  • The Climate Change Committee has advised that the UK needs to increase our hedgerows by 40% to meet our 2050 net zero target, which means planting 200,000km of new hedgerows  – the equivalent of half the length the UK road network
  • Healthy hedgerows are essential habitats for UK biodiversity, supporting over 2,000 species including the hedgehog and several European Protected Species, notably the dormouse, most species of bat, the great-crested newt and many more