Hedges in England Could Circle the Earth Ten Times


A new map, the most detailed of its kind, reveals that England’s hedgerows, if placed end to end, would encircle the Earth almost ten times. The map was created using laser scanning from the air and shows a total of 390,000 km of hedgerows. Ecologists hope this data will help improve protections for these historic landscape features, which serve as habitats for wildlife and carbon storage sites. The South West, particularly Cornwall, has the most hedgerows, while Surrey, Hampshire and Berkshire have the fewest, excluding large urban areas. Dr Richard Broughton of the UK Centre for Ecology and Hydrology, who led the project, said the map could help identify gaps in the hedgerow network for expansion. The map also found that there are an additional 67,000 km of lower hedges and 185,000 km of overgrown hedges taller than 6m. The government has pledged to create or restore 48,000 km of hedgerows by 2037 and 72,000 km by 2050 under a new Environmental Improvement Plan.

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