We need nature. Hedgerows, wetlands, forests, grasslands, marine habitats… all of them play a crucial role in regulating the climate and are vital to our survival. But did you know 80% of European nature is in bad shape? 

Luckily, all hope is not lost! We have a once-in-a lifetime opportunity to turn the tide for nature in Europe: a law to #RestoreNature.

What makes this opportunity unique is that this law will legally oblige EU countries to restore a set amount of nature. If they fail, they can be held accountable, and taken to court. 

Right now, governments across the EU are discussing this new law. Join us and over 200 NGOs and ask your decision-makers to adopt a strong and urgent implementation of the law that can curb the nature and climate crises. 

You are just one step away from making a difference for nature: send a nature picture and letter to your government and Members of the European Parliament!  

What is the Nature Restoration Law?

On 22 June 2022, the European Commission published a long-awaited proposal for the EU Nature Restoration Law. The Commission proposes to restore at least 20 % of the EU’s land and sea areas by 2030 and repair all ecosystems in need of restoration by 2050.

This will be the first European-wide law to set legally binding targets to #RestoreNature! It is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to reverse the biodiversity and climate crises by placing the EU’s degraded nature on a path to recovery.

The proposal is the first major EU biodiversity law since the Habitats Directive in 1992 and follows the commitments made by the European Commission in the EU Biodiversity Strategy for 2030 which calls for the recovery of high-quality and resilient ecosystems in the EU.

Where does the proposed Nature Restoration Law mention hedgerows?

Read the full proposed Nature Restoration Law here.

(43) Urban ecosystems represent around 22 % of the land surface of the Union, and constitute the area in which a majority of the citizens of the Union live. Urban green spaces include urban forests, parks and gardens, urban farms, tree-lined streets, urban meadows and urban hedges, and provide important habitats for biodiversity, in particular plants, birds and insects, including pollinators. They also provide vital ecosystem services, including natural disaster risk reduction and control (e.g. floods, heat island effects), cooling, recreation, water and air filtration, as well as climate change mitigation and adaptation.

(52) High-diversity landscape features on agricultural land, including buffer strips, rotational or non-rotational fallow land, hedgerows, individual or groups of trees, tree rows, field margins, patches, ditches, streams, small wetlands, terraces, cairns, stonewalls, small ponds and cultural features, provide space for wild plants and animals, including pollinators, prevent soil erosion and depletion, filter air and water, support climate change mitigation and adaptation and agricultural productivity of pollination-dependent crops. Productive trees that are part of arable land agroforestry systems and productive elements in non-productive hedges can also be considered as high biodiversity landscape features provided that they do not receive fertilizers or pesticide treatment and if harvest takes place only at moments where it would not compromise high biodiversity levels. Therefore, a requirement to ensure an increasing trend for the share of agricultural land with high-diversity landscape features should be set out. Such a requirement would enable the Union to achieve one of the other key commitments of the EU Biodiversity Strategy for 2030, namely, to cover at least 10 % of agricultural area with high-diversity landscape features. Increasing trends should also be achieved for other existing indicators, such as the grassland butterfly index and the stock of organic carbon in cropland mineral soils.

Both urban and agricultural hedgerows are vital for wildlife and ecosystem services. We must advocate for a strong Nature Restoration Law that supports landowners to protect these high-diversity landscape features!