The Hampshire Hedge
We’ve lost half our hedgerows since 1945 and
CPRE Hampshire believe it’s time to turn this around.
The Hampshire Hedge is an ambitious new initiative to connect the two National Parks in Hampshire, the South Downs National Park and the New Forest National Park, with a nature recovery corridor of hedgerow. It will wind its way through the central heart of Hampshire parishes and link woodlands, meadows, local nature reserves and Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSIs).
Hedgerows play an enormously important role in boosting biodiversity, capturing carbon, improving food production and enhancing our rural economy.
CPRE Hampshire has already worked for several years on restoration of hedgerows across the Hampshire countryside, educating and working with local communities, schools, landowners and farmers. The Hampshire Hedge will build on that work.
The hedge itself will start from Copythorne in the New Forest and finish at Compton, on the edge of the South Downs, near Winchester. It will provide an important link between fragmented green spaces and offer a beautiful landscape feature in one of the areas of Hampshire under most pressure from development.
Working with local community groups, schools and landowners living in the heart of Hampshire, we are focusing on hedge planting, hedge laying and restoring gappy and badly managed hedges with training and action days, talks and other events. As part of this initiative CPRE Hampshire aims to:
- lay 800m of existing hedgerow in the project area in 2023/24
- plant 5km of new hedgerow in the project area in 2023/24
- set up three new hedgerow traineeships, pairing young people with experienced hedge layers to pass on this traditional craft
- work with up to 10 schools and youth groups by running educational activities and practical hands on action days
- involve as many people as possible from the local community.
This is because we have learnt through our previous work on hedgerow initiatives that training and education are vital to maximise the impact of our hedgerow work. Training a farmer or landowner can be transformational for the whole farm landscape and lead to many more miles of hedging being planted and restored. This is well beyond what we can achieve on a one day action day.
This is just the beginning for The Hampshire Hedge. Our regular action days have now started . If you want to be a Hedgerow Hero and help us create the Hampshire Hedge please sign up today via this link:
CPRE Hampshire are delighted to be working on The Hampshire Hedge with a range of partners.