Hedges are important features of the countryside, forming corridors between habitats along which wildlife can disperse.
A native hedgerow is great for wildlife and contains hundreds of species, including those also found in woodland and meadows.
In the last 50 years we have lost more than half our hedgerows, so planting one in your garden will really help wildlife.
Make the most of your garden
- Add more species if your hedge has only one, eg ivy, clematis or wild honeysuckle. Or add some hedge-bottom plants, eg dead-nettles.
- Chose native trees and shrubs for a new hedge, eg hawthorn, beech, spindle, blackthorn, hazel, holly, field maple, buckthorn.
- Grow a variety of plants along the hedge bottom, eg dog’s violet, garlic mustard and hedge woundwort. It will become a wildlife haven.
- Trim once a year, preferably in winter and definitely not in the nesting season. Maintain an A shape, broad at the base. Don’t tidy up too much – leave leaf litter and seed heads to attract hedgehogs, birds, small mammals and insects.
Hedgerow berries provide birds with high-energy food in autumn and winter.