Countryside charity CEO joins volunteer drive to restore historic hedgerows across Bradford Estates

The CEO of countryside charity CPRE helped volunteers in their efforts to bed in 17000 plantings to restore historic hedgerows during a visit to Bradford Estates.

Roger Mortlock joined Mohammed Khuram, Chairman of CPRE Staffordshire, in supporting the local team who are laying plants totalling one and a quarter miles (2km) on land near Blymhill as part of an environmental project supported by the estates business, which is responsible for 12,000 acres on the Shropshire and Staffordshire borders.

The CPRE “hedgerow heroes” volunteers, led by Claire Geoghegan and Lorraine Ray, have worked with the Bradford Estates team to plant the new hedgerow trees as part of a long-term plan being carried out by the landed estates business to restore hedgerows across its land holding.

Supported by Bradford Estates staff, the volunteers have organised a group programme which has seen saplings planted in phases to restore the hedgerow.

Speaking during a visit to see the progress made, Roger Mortlock said: “It has been a pleasure to help the team here as they mobilise to show how much they care about the landscape by ensuring it is preserved and improved for nature and wildlife.

“Seeing people come together to create something which will be here for generations has been brilliant. As we tackle climate change, hedges can play a crucial role particularly with the water table so I am pleased to see a landowner like Bradford Estates taking the lead on such an important project.

“To see such a large amount of hedgerow planted on a single estate is rare so I congratulate everyone involved for making such a difference.”

Mohammed Khuram said: “Our hedgerows are rightly seen as Britain’s largest nature reserve so we welcome every effort to restore them to Staffordshire. It has been fantastic to see such a diverse group of volunteers give a large amount of time to play their part in tackling such an important issue, with the support of Bradford Estates.”

Bradford Estates stewards its land with a responsibility to generations to come, driven by the principle of looking after tomorrow through responsible and sustainable practices.

The hedgerow plans are the latest in a series of environmental projects delivered by Bradford Estates. An agroforestry project at Crackley Bank, Sherrifhales, has seen the transformation of a 10-acre field into both apple orchard and grazing pasture to create dual use resilience, whilst a wetland restoration project is transforming an area near Brineton.

Steve Farrow, Farm & Estates Director at Bradford Estates, said: “After so much hard work went into the hedgerow project by the CPRE volunteers, it was superb to host the visit by Roger Mortlock and Mohammed Khuram so they could see the progress made.

“As a long-term landowner Bradford Estates works to a 100 year plan to ensure every action we take is through a lens of stewardship. Collaboration with partners is central to our vision, so we are grateful for all the efforts from the CPRE to realise this project.”

Formerly known as the Campaign to Protect Rural England, CPRE has more than 40,000 supporters across England. It advocates countryside and green spaces being accessible to all and rich in nature therefore playing a crucial role in responding to the climate emergency.