CPRE Gloucestershire’s Hedgerow Restoration projects

3rd June 2021

CPRE Gloucestershire is running two new projects to restore our hedgerows

It’s National Hedgerow Week (29th May – 6th June) and we’re excited to announce two new projects which will contribute to the restoration of our hedgerows, 50% of which have been lost since WWII.

Did you know that hedges are home to roughly 80% of our woodland birds? They also absorb carbon and air pollution, provide wildlife habitats and make us feel better with their lush greenery. They make an immense contribution to fighting climate change and biodiversity loss. Our hedgerows are unsung heroes of nature!

Hedgerow Restoration with Friends of the Cotswolds 

We have partnered with Friends of the Cotswolds to carry out some much needed hedgerow restoration through an apprenticeship scheme.

By identifying with local landowners in the Cotswolds where hedge restoration is most needed, this project will deliver the hedge-restoration work with two newly recruited apprentices. The Friends Of The Cotswolds has an existing scheme which would teach the two young apprentices business management, marketing and accounting plus some aspects of VAT and tax alongside learning the hedge laying trade.

The project will bring in CPRE volunteers, community members, school children and Cotswold Wardens (from Cotswolds National Landscapes) to help with the project on specific days.

“We would like to combine the practical necessity of restoring hedgerows whilst ensuring the long-term sustainability of the skill through an apprenticeship scheme. This project also has the added advantage of providing two local people with employability skills. We are really pleased to have secured funding for this via a corporate sponsor who is very much involved in the green agenda.” Louise Williams, CPRE Gloucestershire Director

Hedgerow Planting with Cotswold Canals Connected 

Working with Cotswold Canals Connected, we will work with landowners to improve habitat connectivity in the wider countryside through the planting of 4km of native species-rich hedgerows.

Hedgerows will be planted strategically to improve habitat connectivity by linking isolated areas of hedgerow and woodland and providing ecological corridors across the landscape.

These hedges will improve the permeability of the landscape and allow wildlife to move across it more easily, allowing them to become more resilient to future change. In addition, the hedges will create natural soft boundaries between land parcels and provide stock proofing to control and limit where grazing can occur.

In addition to benefits for wildlife, hedgerows capture and store carbon both in the woody growth and within the soil itself (a new hedgerow may store 600-800kh of CO2 equivalent per year per km, for up to 20 years) and, as a result, the Climate Change Committee have recommended a 40% increase in hedges to help the UK achieve Net Zero by 2050.

Can you help?

We are looking for volunteers, either for a couple of hours or for more regular hours, to help out within the project. If you want to get involved please email louise.williams@cpreglos.org.uk for more information