Agriculture, Farming & Hedgerows

CPRE has been campaigning about the environmental importance of protecting hedgerows for nearly a century. The campaign can be traced back to 1926. In that year what would become CPRE’s founding manifesto, ‘The Preservation of Rural England’, Patrick Abercrombie warned against the ‘indiscriminate destruction’ of hedgerows in the name of economy and ‘dreary productiveness’.

Listing ‘what is to be preserved’, Abercrombie described hedgerows as ‘part of an elaborate, if unconscious, remodelling of the earth’s surface, which has taken centuries to mature. The result, as everyone agrees, is singularly beautiful.’

1926 hg

In 1934 CPRE campaigner Vaughan Cornish, a leading geographer and pioneer of the idea of landscape character, described the importance of hedgerows in The Scenic Amenity of Great Britain: ‘The combination of the English village, with the setting of field and hedgerow and coppice, is an Arcadian scene unrivalled and unsurpassed in any part of the world.’

In 1969 attention was drawn to the impact of hedgerow loss. After a study by Dr Max Hooper estimated hedgerow loss at 10,000 miles a year (as opposed to the then government’s official estimate of just 500 miles), CPRE called for ‘hedgerow preservation orders and special protection for the most species-rich hedges.

CPRE Rutland attended the parliamentary launch by the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs the Rt Hon George Eustice MP of a new CPRE research publication: ‘Hedge Fund – Investing in Hedgerows for Climate, Nature and the Economy’ at a CPRE reception in the Terrace Bar of the House of Commons.

New CPRE Member and hedgerow champion Margaret Simpson BEM is pictured at the national launch.

The branch is now interested in engaging with  landowners proposing to further develop hedgerows on their land. Project support may be available.


CPRE Rutland Vice Chair Rachel Burkitt and charity Chair Ron Simpson BEM recently met with Rutland Farmer Chris White of Ridlington to discuss the current challenges confronting the farming community.