A NEW FOREST school has partnered with a countryside Hampshire charity to educate children on the importance of hedgerows.

Bransgore Primary School has teamed up with CPRE Hampshire to deliver the programme.

Having been invited to attend an assembly with all key stage two children at the school, Natalie Hargreaves, hedgerow heroes initiative co-ordinator for CPRE Hampshire, talked to the children about why hedgerows are so important to wildlife and how they can help reduce the impact of climate change.

She said: “Once I’d talked about the countryside and why hedgerows are such an important feature, I asked the children about how they used the countryside and why it’s important to them.

“I loved hearing their stories and suggestions about using it for exercise and fresh air.

“They certainly understood the importance of it for wildlife, talking about mice, hedgehogs and different birds.

“They told stories of hedgehogs hibernating in the bottom of hedges in their gardens and I answered questions about how to look after hedges and help wildlife establish a home there.”

A few days later, some of the children were invited to attend the CPRE Hampshire hedgerow heroes initiative, taking place on the Meyrick Estate, just outside Bransgore.

They were shown examples of a healthy hedge and a badly managed hedge with lollipop tops and gaps. They spent time examining the hedges for evidence of habitats and wildlife.

Ewan, one of the school children on the school trip, said: “I had a lovely time. I discovered a lot of interesting facts about plants and what they do for the environment, and what being a hedgerow hero means.”

The children finished their visit by each being presented with a copy of ‘The Happy Hedgerow’ book and by signing the CPRE Hampshire ‘hedge pledge’.

They promised to do their best to look after hedges in Hampshire and to become hedgerow heroes within their own school.