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Planting begins for the Hampshire Hedge conservation project

Three miles of new hedgerow are set to be planted in the first year.

Work has begun on a rural hedgerow that is designed to benefit wildlife and connect two national parks. The Hampshire Hedge project is intended to link the New Forest and South Downs with a “nature recovery corridor”. 

The Campaign for the Protection of Rural England (CPRE) has launched a three-year initiative with community groups and landowners to improve existing and replace lost hedgerows. Half of England’s rural hedgerows have been lost since 1945. 

The hedgerow will pass 14 miles through Hampshire, linking woodlands, meadows, local nature reserves and Sites of Special Scientific Interest. 

Three miles of new hedgerow are set to be planted in the first year, with 25,000 whips going into the ground this winter. 

Richard Negus, a professional hedge-layer and conservationist, told ST: “Hedgerows are the arteries of our landscape. I am pleased to see the CPRE has seen sense and now understands that managing our existing hedgerow network is just as important as planting new hedges. I hope its next campaign will be to improve and increase the training opportunities for the hedge-layers of the future.” 

A further ambitious hedge-laying initiative is set to cover 90 miles of the Jubilee Trail across Dorset.