Properly maintained, traditional hedges provide a substitute for lost woodland edge habitat for a wide range of wildlife. The RSPB estimates they now support up to 80% of our woodland birds, which are enduring fierce population falls. Hedges planted with native species are rich in flora and fauna, and have been an important feature of our countryside since the Bronze Age. Not only do dense hedges provide shelter and food for wildlife, they are also "wildways" - corridors allowing safe movement.
Below we list the best hedge plants so that you can design your own native hedge. We also recommend different fast growing mixes for more diverse hedges or for a specific purpose. Our "standard" recommended hedge is the Conservation mix, which will give you a traditional wildlife friendly stock proof hedge based on Hawthorn. All these hedge mixes will be good to lay if required and provide all year round interest, with attractive blossom, nuts and berries, and autumn colour.
Please note that our hedge plants are supplied as "bare root", and are consequently only delivered from November - end March. They are usually supplied in 40-60cm or 60-90cm sizes. Depending on conditions, the 60-90cm plants will grow to around head height in 3 years. All these plants occur naturally in the UK and are all grown here from British stock.
When buying plants reckon on 5 plants per linear metre for a stockproof hedge, planted in a double staggered row. A triple width hedge - a monster but sometimes done - would take 7 plants / metre. Rows are 50cm apart unless you want a looser "wildway" hedge.
Hedge Plants Advice & Guides
What sort of hedge should I plant, and how should I do it?
Why and how to grow a native hedge
Annual hedge management
Managing your hedge for wildlife
Planting a native hedge (Video)
Our video guide on how to plant and establish your native species hedge