OUR countryside is struggling to cope with climate breakdown and nature’s decline.

Frequent and fierce floods threaten people’s homes, businesses and lives.

Unpredictable weather makes it harder for farmers to grow our food.

And some of our most cherished wildlife like hedgehogs, bumblebees and butterflies have plummeted in numbers over the past half century.

Nature holds the key to help solve these crises and the countryside has a unique solution – the humble hedgerow.

Hedgerows provide homes for wildlife and suck carbon emissions from the air. I am calling on the government to commit to planting thousands of

miles of hedges all across the country.

The government has failed to show any real commitment to hedgerows, but planting must start now.

Hedgerows are the unsung heroes of our countryside. They have been a defining feature for over a thousand years, bringing landscapes to life with character and beauty.

They connect habitats and provide pathways, shelter and sustenance for wildlife, while protecting the soil, cleaning the air and absorbing carbon emissions. They are nature’s key workers.

Furthermore around half our hedgerows have been lost since the end of the Second World War. This has left us vulnerable to the threats of climate breakdown, while intensifying nature’s decline.

The government’s own climate change advisors have said we need 40 per cent more hedges by 2050.

Gavin Muggeridge

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