Two wildlife and nature charities are teaming up to call for more hedgerows in Oxfordshire.

Wild Oxfordshire and nature charity, Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE), say hedgerows are vital for wildlife such as small mammals, farmland birds, wildflowers and many invertebrates who benefit from healthy, dense mixed species hedges, with few gaps. They provide a home, forage, hunting ground, shelter, and routes of travel within our increasingly fragmented and intensively managed landscape. 

CPRE is calling for Government commitment to increase hedgerow cover nationally by 40 per cent by 2050. 

The 1997 – 1999 CPRE Oxfordshire Hedgerow Survey estimated that there was approximately 7,820 km of hedgerow in Oxfordshire. 

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A 40 per cent increase would see an additional 3,128km by 2050 – or 108km a year. If these hedgerows are equally distributed across the county, it is only about 0.5km per parish per year, for the next 30 years. 

To the get the ball rolling, CPRE and Wild Oxfordshire will be working with the community groups and parish councils of Kidlington, Watlington and Eynsham, the Wychwood Project and local hedgerow hero Nigel Adams to not only plant new hedgerows but rejuvenate exhausted ones. 

The charities are calling on the public to help by taking part in the ‘Great British Hedgerow Survey’ or to help by planting a new native hedge or fill in the gaps of an existing hedge this winter. 

Community groups and schools can apply here for free trees to plant.

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