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Seemingly ambitious Defra hedgerow targets actually due to typo

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The UK environment secretary, Thérèse Coffey, has disappointed campaigners after revealing that an ambitious hedgerow plan for England was in fact a typographical error.

At the end of January, environment groups were delighted when Coffey revealed the government’s Environmental Improvement Plan would include aims to plant 30,000 miles of new hedgerows a year by 2037 and 45,000 a year by 2050.

Unlike many of the other pledges, this significantly outstripped recommendations by the Climate Change Committee (CCC) and other experts.

However, the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) has admitted that this was in fact a typo, and that the targets are for 30,000 miles altogether by 2037, and 45,000 altogether by 2050. This is significantly less than the first draft of the plan promised and about half of what the CCC recommends, which is 40% more hedgerows by 2050.

Expanding hedgerows has been seen as a relatively easy win for tackling the climate and biodiversity crisis, as they quite easily fit into the farmed environment while having many benefits for carbon…

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