Sequestering soil carbon by planting hedgerows

Presenting new research from the Resilient Dairy Landscapes project

Carbon sequestration by vegetation and soil is an essential part of the approach when it comes to addressing climate change and achieving net-zero commitments. In the UK, the Climate Change Committee has proposed that extending hedges by 40% is one of the key changes needed to reach net-zero carbon by 2050. This would require the planting of approximately 200,000 km of new hedges across rural and urban landscapes; which equates to about half the length of Britain’s road network.

This raises two important questions:

  • What is the rate of CO2 sequestration associated with planting hedgerows?

  • Is this rate of hedge planting feasible via current initiatives?

Join us at this event to hear about new research from the Resilient Dairy Landscapes project that addresses both of these questions. Firstly, we will review how the length of hedgerows has varied over the last 50 years and consider the drivers of this change. We will then examine the new research in detail, illustrating how researchers estimated the soil carbon sequestration potential of planting hedgerows in agricultural landscapes. Finally, we will review the rates of hedgerow planting in agricultural landscapes via agricultural environment schemes in comparison to a sustainable supply chain initiative and what this means for net-zero targets.