THE Countryside Agency is pushing for the government to tighten up its Hedgerow Regulations claiming many hedges are under threat because they are not being managed appropriately.
The agency concedes that existing initiatives like the Countryside Stewardship Scheme have helped some farmers restore hedges but says that significant additional resources need to be spent on many hedges in the countryside.
Chairman of the Countryside Agency Ewen Cameron said: "The Hedgerow Regulations introduced in 1997 attempted to control the loss but we want to ensure that, when these regulations are amended later this year, the strengthened criteria will provide protection for a much larger proportion of hedgerows."
"Englands framework of traditional field boundaries is threatened as much by a lack of appropriate management as their deliberate removal."
The agency estimates that while in 1947 there were about 660,000 km of hedgerow in England, now there are only about 300,000.
It has produced a colourful poster to raise public awareness of the importance of 36 locally distinctive hedgerows to the English countryside.