Mark the shape and length of your hedge with cane and string.
Dig a trench along the line at least 45 cm wide and 30 cm deep (or big enough for the roots to fit comfortably). Double the width if you’re planting a double staggered row of plants.
Stack the displaced soil alongside the trench.
Remove weeds to reduce competition for water and nutrients.
Loosen the sides and base of the trench to help roots to grow and to improve drainage.
Place your plants in the trench one by one. Add plenty of peat-free organic compost as you back-fill with the spare soil around the roots.
Lightly firm the soil around the base of the plant until it is stable and level with the surrounding ground.
Keep the roots of waiting plants in a bucket of water or cover with moist soil. Don't leave the roots exposed because they will dry out quickly.
Occasionally step back to check you are still following your planting line.
Water each plant so that the water reaches just beyond the depth and spread of the roots. Then keep plants well-watered for at least one year until they are established. Preferably use rain water collected in a water butt and do not overwater.
Finishing touches: when your hedge is established you can add plugs of woodland edge species and native wildflowers.
Make sure your plants come from reputable dealers and are not taken from the wild.