CPRE report shows that boosting hedgerows would create 25,000 jobs

9th September 2021

Our new report shows that boosting hedgerows by 40% would benefit wildlife and the climate, as well as local economies, creating 25,000 jobs over the next 30 years.

The new research, undertaken by the Organic Research Centre, is laid out in a report published and launched in Parliament this week: ‘Hedgefund: investing in hedgerows for climate, nature and the economy‘.

We are urging the government to set a target to increase the hedgerow network by 40% by 2050, as recommended by the Climate Change Committee – a win-win-win for climate, nature and the economy. This increase would yield almost £4 for every £1 invested.

Lord Deben, chair of the Climate Change Committee, said:

“Reintroduction and proper maintenance of hedgerows transform all-too sterile prairie land into the countryside, which we have long loved. But, as this report shows, this is not about romance – the hard facts are that hedges contribute to profit as well as to wellbeing.’

Hedgerows for nature, the climate and people

CPRE has long argued that hedgerows could be champions of climate action and nature recovery. But this new report shows that expanding hedgerow cover could also create thousands of new jobs for local communities. In addition, for every £1 invested in hedgerows, as much as £3.92 is generated in the wider economy due to key environmental and economic benefits provided by hedgerows.

Crispin Truman, chief executive of CPRE, the Countryside Charity said: “Sadly, half of our precious hedgerows have been ripped from the landscape since the Second World War and we’ve seen a huge decline in nature and soaring carbon emissions. There is a lot of work to do. Local authorities can support community groups to plant more hedgerows while farmers can help by letting hedgerows grow taller and bushier. But we know the government has the biggest part to play in unleashing the full potential of hedgerows.”

Now’s the time: the UK hosts COP26, the international climate summit, in Glasgow in less than two months. CPRE is calling on the government for a firm commitment: set a target to increase the hedgerow network by 40% by 2050.

Support hedgerows with us

Please add your voice to ours! Support our #40by50 campaign, calling on the government to commit to extending our hedgerow network by 40% by 2050, by signing our petition.

Sign the petition

Want to get your hands dirty and help us to plant hedgerows in Gloucestershire? We’ve partnered with Cotswold Canals Connected on a hedgerow planting project along the canals. Register your interest by emailing us info@cpreglos.org.uk