Hedgerow Heroes

This project, from CPRE Avon and Bristol aims to rebuild, restore, and protect hedgerows in the West of England, whilst training local residents and authorities in traditional and more sustainable hedge management practice. This restoration of wildlife habitats is not just great for wildlife and the environment, but also for local volunteers who are able to reap the benefits of taking part in a meaningful outdoor activity in their local area.

October 2023

Harry's Hat Logo

CPRE Avon and Bristol are a charity working for nature rich countryside in the West of England, with sustainable, healthy communities. They provide a range of services which connect people with the countryside, and advocate for the countryside’s benefits, supporting individuals and groups across the West of England to have a greater say over decisions in their community, with volunteer led District Groups who are continuously in touch with local people. Hedgerow Heroes is just one of their many projects.

Hedgerows form part of the national character of the British landscape. They provide vital corridors and homes for wildlife, whilst helping to tackle the climate crisis through carbon capture. Around half our hedgerows have been lost since the end of the Second World War – leaving us vulnerable to the threats of climate change and air pollution, while intensifying nature’s decline.

The Hedgerow Heroes project brings together local communities to help protect and enhance hedgerows in their area; creating a more biodiverse landscape, teaching people traditional conservation skills, and improving physical and mental wellbeing of volunteers.

The project was launched in June 2022 to transform hedgerows in South Gloucestershire. They trained and supported volunteers to restore sections along footpaths and cycleways to improve the landscape and biodiversity. They also trained Local Authority and Parish Councils in hedgerow management, transforming their management regime by reducing cutting frequency to improve hedgerow condition and their contribution to nature recovery.

Just over one year into the project, the team have been out in all weathers working hard to improve hedgerows and protect wildlife throughout South Gloucestershire. In that time they have laid 350m of new hedgerow and gapped up a further 800m of existing hedgerow.

Following the success of their first year, they are now looking to expand the project into Bath and Northeast Somerset to revitalise hedgerows and improve the landscape across both counties. In this second phase they are aiming to improve 1km of hedgerow to prevent soil erosion and provide a habitat for many species of birds, insects, butterflies and small mammals. To achieve this, they need to train a team of new volunteers in hedge laying, work with local councils to develop their hedgerow management approach and spread the word in the local community.

“Thank you very much for supporting our initiative to improve the environment for wildlife and local communities.

Your support will ensure we can cover the costs necessary to provide volunteers equal opportunities to attend our practical conservation sessions.

The result of this will be healthier, connected hedgerows that offer an essential habitat for wildlife.”

Sonia Parsons

Hedgerow Heroes Project Lead, CPRE Avon & Bristol

“The Hedgerows Heroes project offers a different approach to hedgerow management that will have big benefits for wildlife and carbon. As well as the biodiversity benefits, the project is bringing together volunteers to learn new skills, and meet new people and is also influencing council policies on how hedgerows should be managed. Our funding will help the project expand after a successful first year.”

Michelle Taft

Executive Director, Matthew Good Foundation

Latest Project Updates

November 2023

Granted £2,000

After becoming a finalist in John Good Group's Grants for Good, The Hedgerow Heroes project was granted £2,000

October 2023

Grants for Good Finalist

The Hedgrow Heroes project has become one of the top five finalists in the latest Grants for Good round, and will receive a grant between £2000 and £5000 after employees at the John Good Group have voted on their favourite causes.