The Tree Council calls hedgerows ‘hidden heroes’. They absorb carbon and air pollution, provide wildlife habitats, alleviate flooding and can benefit our mental health and wellbeing.
Around 50% of hedges have been lost since the Second World War. The Committee on Climate Change has advised that the UK needs to plant 200,000km of new hedgerows if it is to meet its 2050 net zero target.
The Tree Council’s ‘Close the Gap’ project is getting stuck into the challenge. They will plant 53 kilometres of new rural and urban hedgerows across England and volunteers will restore a further 26 kilometres of hedgerows. The project will create 9 jobs, 10 apprenticeships and 300 volunteer opportunities.
Talk to the Hedge
They are also spreading the word about the importance of hedgerows to inspire people to care for them, including through the first-ever National Hedgerow Awareness week (29 May - 6 June 2021) and their Talk to the Hedge guide. The guide invites people to get up close and personal, reconnect and talk to their hedge!
The Green Recovery Challenge Fund
The 18-month project received £1,834,800 funding from the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) as part of the Green Recovery Challenge Fund. The fund is delivered by The Heritage Fund in partnership with Natural England, the Environment Agency and the Forestry Commission.