‘Reservoirs of life’: how hedgerows can help the UK reach net zero in 2050


They store carbon and are havens for wildlife – it’s no wonder experts are calling for Britain’s hedge network to be extended

One New Year’s Day, ecologist Rob Wolton came up with an unusual resolution – to spend the next 12 months studying a hedge 40 metres from his house in the middle of Devon. He wanted to make a list of every plant, animal and fungus that used it. Why? Because a wildlife-enthusiast friend challenged him to do it during a long car journey.

“I thought it would take a year, but at the end of the first one I was still finding masses of new species so decided to carry on for another,” he says.

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