I want to add a hedgerow to my garden

A mixed hedgerow will provide food and shelter for birds, mammals and invertebrates. It will also provide wildlife highways so that species can move more easily through the landscape.

Things to Consider

  • Include mostly native plants. Generally these provide the best habitat for the widest range of wildlife. Try to mix at least five different species throughout your hedge.
  • Aim for varied foliage, fruits and flowers throughout the year.
  • Include evergreen and thorny plants for winter shelter as well as protection from predators.
  • Add trees if you have space. This will provide greater diversity, height and shading. Good medium-sized trees include holly, crab apple and rowan. Good larger trees include oak, ash, whitebeam and silver birch.

What type of plant?

Choose bare-rooted plants, which are inexpensive and will generally establish well.

When to plant?

November to March when growth is slowest, but don't plant in frozen ground.

How many plants?

One plant per metre will give a reasonable hedgerow, but five per metre will provide greater variety and more rapid cover.

You can plant in a single straight line. For a thicker hedge, plant a staggered double line. For a more natural looking hedgerow, plant in an irregular pattern rather than in long blocks of the same species.

A Good Planting Mix:

  • 70% from a choice of hawthorn, blackthorn, buckthorn, privet, beech, hazel and dog rose.
  • 25% from a choice of guelder rose, field maple, spindle, crab apple, holly and yew.
  • 5% from a choice of climbers, such as honeysuckle, blackberry, ivy and native clematis.

Step by step guide to planting your hedgerow

Posted in: Wildlife Gardening on 16 June 2015

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