Published: 27 April 2020

Hedges reduce children’s exposure to pollution

Planting a hedge in front of a park can halve the amount of traffic pollution that reaches children as they play, a new study finds.

A healthy green hedge

Experts from the University of Surrey’s Global Centre for Clean Air Research (GCARE) have conducted a five-month experiment, measuring traffic pollutants in a children’s park in Guildford.

The study aimed to measure pollution reduction during the lifecycle of a Beech hedge. It reported pollution reductions of more than 50 per cent after the hedge’s ‘green-up’ stage in late April. Experts believe that could be due to density of the hedge or the stickiness of the leaves when particle pollutants pass through it.

Professor Prashant Kumar, founding Director of GCARE, said: “The reduction in pollution after the green-up stage gives valuable information regarding where to install green infrastructure across our communities.”

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