Humble hedgerows to get the recognition they deserve with new National Hedgerow Week and ‘Hedgefund’ planting-grants from The Tree Council
Saturday 29th May- Sunday 6th June
The inaugural National Hedgerow Week launches on 29th May 2021 to highlight the immense contribution these unsung heroes of the natural world make in the fight against climate change and biodiversity loss and to raise awareness of the threats they face. The celebration of these wonderful habitats is part of a year-long Close the Gap project funded by the government’s Green Recovery Challenge Fund and delivered by The National Lottery Heritage Fund in partnership with Natural England and the Environment Agency.
From absorbing carbon to improving urban air quality, offering a home to small birds and mammals, marking out boundaries to preventing flooding and more, hedgerows are invaluable to this country. The Committee on Climate Change has advised the UK needs to plant an extra 200,000km (over 120,000 miles) of hedgerow if we are to meet our climate commitments. Hedgerows are also a key habitat for endangered native species including the dormouse and barbastelle bat and their vibrant greenery make them a huge boost to our mental health.
National Hedgerow Week will put the spotlight firmly on the hawthorns, blackthorns, wild roses and brambles which make up hedgerows across the UK. Throughout the week there will be a range of exciting hedge-inspired activities with volunteers and the public and the UK’s first All Natural Hedgefunds will be launched. The Farming Hedgefund will distribute £500,000 in grants to landowners in England to help them fill hedgerow gaps and plant 30 miles of new hedges next planting season. A smaller Community Hedgefund is available for volunteer Tree Wardens and local groups to plant new community hedges.
Other activities will include:
- HedgeTalks- a webinar series helping the public get the most out of their hedges
- A playful ‘Talk To The Hedge’ photo competition
- #talktothehedge – a social media campaign to share your love of hedges
- A microsite packed full of helpful tips and growing information- www.nationalhedgerowweek.org.uk
- And much more to be announced…
Sara Lom Tree Council CEO adds ‘Our hedges are not only of huge significance for the environment but also for their contribution to our cultural heritage and landscapes. We think it’s high time they got their turn in the limelight with this first hedgerow week. We’re hoping to unite farmers, landowners, gardeners and the general public in celebrating this humble yet brilliant habitat.’