Which sort of hedge should I buy?
Something fast growing, good for security and privacy, attractive and wildlife friendly?
Our native hedge plants can be all that. They typically grow fast. One of Hawthorn's other names - "Quickthorn" - gives you a clue. Mixed native hedges are stockproof, which means they're also people proof. If they can keep cows in they can keep unwelcome visitors out! Any selection including spiky species like Hawthorn, Blackthorn and native roses makes for an impenetrable security hedge. Mixed native species make good privacy hedges too; some are evergreen and others, like Beech and Hornbeam, hold their leaves over winter. They provide all year round interest and value, with attractive blossom, nuts and berries, and autumn colour.
Value For Wildlife
Properly maintained, traditional hedgerows 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. Properly managed, hedges planted with native species are rich in flora and fauna, and have been an important natural resource in 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.
Planting A Hedge
When buying whips 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. Most people use plant guards to prevent damage from rabbits in particular, but if you do use them please remove after a couple of years or so as sadly they aren't disposable and they will also interfere with the development of the plants. Have a look at the resources below for more detailed guidance.
Our Hedge Plants For Sale
Below we list the best hedge shrubs and trees 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. These species will grow in most conditions, including shady and north facing sites. All these mixes will be good to lay if required.
Please note that our plants are supplied as "bare root"; our native hedge whips 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.
Hedges: 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