You see them across London. They trap CO2 pollution and particulates. Many people have them on their streets and outside their houses. What are they? Hedges.
I was fascinated recently by a University of Surrey study (link here) and wanted to share what they found with Londoners in my letter to local papers across our city this week.
Here is a copy of my letter.
I just want to say: Hooray for hedges.
They look good, they give us privacy and they are very good for wildlife and biodiversity.
Now a study led by the University of Surrey tells us they can help tackle air pollution in our town and cities.
If we are clever about where we plant them – especially at roadsides – they will help trap the particulates and CO2 pullution that cars and lorries pump out.
Trees are wonderful, of course, and act as our green lungs, but hedges have the advantage of working their magic at exhaust level.
In addition they provide food and shelter for birds, bees, butterflies, hedgehogs and other wildlife.
They won’t cure traffic pollution on their own, but as part of a multi-pronged strategy hedges can start to make our air gets cleaner and our lives healthier.
So let’s stop hedging our bets and start planting more privet, hawthorn, blackthorn and box.
Syed Kamall, MEP for London