Mixed native hedging has a myriad of benefits for wildlife, for people and for the wider environment. In this article we’re looking at just a few of the ways that these hedges improve our lives and discovering how to make the very best of them.
Biodiversity – mixed native hedging makes fantastic wildlife habitat
Wildlife corridors – allowing creatures to roam safely between different places
All year round aesthetic interest – lots of seasonal blooms, berries, foliage colours and textures to delight the eye
Carbon capture – all plants help in the war against climate change
Pollution busters – hedges help filter dust and pollutants from the air we breath
Wind break – making life more comfortable for us, providing shelter and creating microclimates so that we can grow food
Privacy and protection – there’s no better way to screen out noise, intruders and prying eyes
In terms of biodiversity and all year round interest, choosing the best hedging mix for your circumstances is paramount. The balance of hedging plant species makes all the difference to how your mature hedge will look, the creatures it will support and how you maintain it.
A garden hedge for example, may be trimmed once a year with a little light pruning in between to keep it neat. Farm hedgerows on the other hand, tend to be trimmed every other year as part of the UK Government’s bid to increase biodiversity in the countryside.
You may be keen to make your hedge as vibrant as possible in the winter time when the rest of the garden is unexciting. Or perhaps you are keen to support pollinating insects by encouraging blossoms in early spring.
Four different species of shrub chosen for their manageability, speedy establishment and appeal to farmland birds such as tree sparrow, greenfinch, linnet and starling.
25% Hawthorn, 25% Blackthorn, 25% Field Maple, 25% Hazel
An aesthetically diverse mix with lots of leaf shapes, autumn foliage colours, spring blossoms and autumn berries. Establishes easily to forms a dense hedge which makes a great privacy screen whilst attracting garden birds, pollinating insects, hedgehogs and so much more.
40% Hawthorn, 20% Blackthorn, 15% Field Maple, 10% Hazel, 5% Holly, 5% Dog Rose, 5% Guelder Rose
When you want an interesting but painless hedge, this mix ticks all of the boxes. Right from the beginning of the year you will be beguiled by catkins (aka lambs tails) and subtle blossoms followed by fresh green leaves. As the summer fades the foliage will produce some stunning colours.
30% Field Maple, 20% Hazel, 20% Guelder Rose, 10% Common Dogwood, 10% Red Stemmed Dogwood, 10% Yellow Stemmed Dogwood
A lovely colourful hedge consisting two variations of the same plant. From the gardener’s point of view, this makes for easy management because all of the plants grow at similar rates – it’s easy to keep the top of the hedge level all year round.
The joy of a beech hedge is that although it is deciduous (the foliage dies back in autumn) it doesn’t lose its leaves. In autumn, the leaves turn a wonderful coppery bronze colour in autumn, they stay on the plants until new leaves emerge in spring.
It’s a great look, creates a very effective windbreak or screen and – there are no autumn leaves to sweep up. What’s not to like?
75% Green Beech
25% Purple/Red Beech
Some of the UK’s native hedging plants are simply not nice for horses. Yew for example is very attractive to us but highly toxic to horses. Sycamore (a close relative of field maple) is also dangerous to our equine friends if eaten. Blackthorn is not poisonous but can offer up a nasty scratch. More about plants that are poisonous to horses
Our horse safe hedging mix is robust, non-toxic and attractive to look at. Please be sure to use hedging guards when planting though to protect the young plants from over enthusiastic teeth and hooves.
Like our Field Wildlife Mix, the Horse Safe Hedging adapts well to being trimmed every other year.
45% Hawthorn, 25% Hazel, 20% Mixed Dogwood, 10% Guelder Rose
If you need help choosing the right native hedging species for your project please do not hesitate to contact the Hedging Plants Direct Team.
We’re here to help and want to ensure that your new hedge is everything you want it to be.
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Published on 01 September 2020 By Will Bodsworth
Proud grower and supplier of high quality Hedging, Trees and Shrubs at Hedging Plants Direct.
Experienced Director with a demonstrated history of working in the environmental services industry. Skilled in Garden, Plant Identification, Tree Planting, Landscaping, Palletised transport management and Customer Service. Strong professional with a NVQ level 2 focused in Horticulture from Otley College.