Environmental groups champion role of hedgerows during national awareness week

The vital role hedgerows play in fighting climate change and supporting biodiversity has been highlighted by environmental groups in the borough.

The inaugural National Hedgerow Week, organised by the Tree Council, took place until June 6 with the aim of raising awareness of the ‘unsung heroes’ of the natural world.

Healthy hedgerows are made up of a variety of plants such as hawthorns, blackthorns and wild roses which provide safe nesting grounds for species including dormouse and bats.

The mini nature reserves also help absorb carbon from the atmosphere through its root structure and leaves.

Rob Acker, hedgerow lead for Wild Maidenhead and Wild Cookham, said: “Hedgerows are going to be really important in terms of how we can mitigate climate change.

“We need 40 per cent more hedgerows according to the Climate Change Committee to reach our net zero climate change goal by 2050 so I’m sure that’s in the council’s thinking.”

An 800-metre long hedgerow was planted alongside Battlemead Common three years ago which has helped create a critical ‘green corridor’ for wildlife in the area.

Residents are now being encouraged to support the borough’s environmental groups by helping to carry out surveys on healthy hedges in the area.

Those with garden hedges can also help by planting diverse species of plants, Rob added.

“Many of us are familiar with hedgerows as we walk along public rights of way across Maidenhead but people’s garden hedges have an important role to play in providing that secure, safe place for wildlife like hedgehogs,” he said.

“One of the key things is to try and make them as diverse as possible so not just planting a single species.”

Anyone wishing to help out with hedgerow planting in the winter months should contact wildmaidenhead.org.uk

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