With the introduction of modern farming methods and the pressure for higher crop yields, hedges and hedgerow trees are eliminated to create more rational field sizes. Such destruction reduces the amenity value of the countryside and eliminates valuable habitats for birds and insects which help destroy pests and pollinate crops.
Since the end of World War II till 1997, estimated 320,000 kilometres of hedgerows were destroyed in the UK. Just between 1985 and 1997, 184,000 kilometres of the roughly 640,000 kilometres of hedgerows that crisscrossed England and Wales have been ripped out and burned.
Quickset hedges increase yield and foster early growth in certain sizes of fields, by reducing evapo-transpiration or increasing temperature.
Removal of hedges allows modern farming machinery to be used to best advantage, avoids the cost of maintaining hedges, prevents the propagation of pests and weeds associated with them, eliminates the shade which in the case of high hedges reduces crop yield, and increases the available land.