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The Hampshire Hedge

The Hampshire Hedge is an ambitious initiative by local countryside charity, CPRE Hampshire, to connect Hampshire’s two National Parks, the South Downs National Park and the New Forest National Park, with a nature recovery corridor of hedgerow.

Hedgerows play an enormously important role in boosting biodiversity, capturing carbon, improving food production and enhancing our rural community. The countryside has lost over half of all hedgerows since 1945 and CPRE Hampshire believe it’s time to turn this around. The charity 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 wind its way through the central heart of Hampshire parishes and link woodlands, meadows, local nature reserves and Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSIs). It will start from Copythorne in the New Forest and finish at Compton, on the edge of the South Downs, near Winchester.

Ellie Banks, Hedgerow Officer at CPRE Hampshire, explains: ‘The Hampshire Hedge offers communities a great opportunity to work together to restore and plant hedges in their local areas. We provide training on the traditional crafts of hedgelaying and offer some great resources to help communities learn surveying and hedgerow management to achieve the full benefits of their rich offerings.’

Prof. Gavin Parker, Chair of the New Forest National Park  Authority says: ‘Around about 40% of the South of England is a protected landscape, and the project that CPRE has announced, linking both the South Downs and New Forest National Park together by way of hedgerows is a really great symbolic as well as material benefit to nature and biodiversity, and it really reflects the way in which the South Downs and the New Forest are working together in partnership along with other national parks to really hit those 30 x 30 targets and to make sure our environment and this country is enjoyed by all.’

Vanessa Rowlands, Chair of the South Downs National Park Authority says: ‘In the South Downs National Park a large part of our park is in Hampshire, we’re part of that 40% of Hampshire that are protected landscapes. The CPRE’s project of joining the two National Parks, the New Forest and the South Downs with these hedgerows is just such an inspiring idea. We’ve always wanted to have a closer link with the New Forest, and we can do it physically and environmentally for the wildlife. So we’re really excited about it!’

Discover more about the importance of hedgerows at

Head of Environment and Rural Economy


'We help commoners to continue their ancient way by providing grants, training and advice.'

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