Plantwatch: a climate solution is hidden in the hedgerows

Plantwatch: a climate solution is hidden in the hedgerows

Experts recommend Britain should plant 40% more of these valuable barriers by 2050

Hedgerows are hugely important but often taken for granted. They are perhaps the largest semi-natural habitat in Britain, refuges for wild plants and corridors for wildlife to move through, often in barren farmland landscapes.

Hedgerows help slow down the runoff of water, guarding against flooding and soil erosion, and act as barriers to help prevent pesticide and fertiliser pollution getting into water supplies. Studies show they can improve the quality of air by helping trap air pollution.

But more than half of hedgerows have been lost since 1945, and much of the remainder are degraded, relicts of their former glory and often poorly managed.

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