The Carbon Cost of Rural Tidiness.


In his book ‘Woodlands’, the late Professor Oliver Rackham points out that “hedges in Britain go back beyond the beginning of records, with archaeological evidence from the Iron Age and beyond”.

Key here is 70,000km of hedgerow in Wales.
Tidy hedgerow.

So, today...

Seven species (600-700yrs old according to Hooper). Hazel dominates.
Within a month, that hedge will look like this.

Not pretty!
One metre of annually flailed hedgerow.

300 stems.

Average weight of stem 17grams.

5.1kg per metre.

50% of each stem is carbon.

Emissions & sequestration can be presented as tonnes carbon or tonnes carbon dioxide (CO2). To convert from tonnes CO2 to tonnes carbon multiply by 12/44.

9.33grams of CO2 per metre.

Assume 70% of hedgerows are flailed annually in Wales
70% of total hedgerow resource - 49,000km

49,000,000 metres

9.33grams of CO2 per metre


457tonnes of CO2
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