Five Great Species To Choose For A Native Hedge

A hedge is most economically created with whips, which can be ordered now and planted any time between later autumn and early spring. There are many reasons to choose native species for a hedgerow, not least of which is that the plants are particularly likely to thrive. Look at other hedgerows near your garden and choose accordingly, the species you see are likely to do well in your garden if they do well nearby. The local wildlife will also benefit from a native hedge. Here are five great native hedgerow plants that will do well in many gardens across the UK:

Cleish Road Beech hedgeBeech (Fagus Sylvatica)

Beech is native to the more southerly reaches of the UK and is a very common hedgerow tree. While the fully grown tree is deciduous, when trimmed into a hedge it will not usually lose its leaves and while it will do best on free-draining soils it can do reasonably well in a variety of different soil types. Beech foliage is appealing to a range of native caterpillars and the seeds are eaten by a range of birds and small mammals.

ElderberriesElder (Sambucus Nigra)

Hedges can be bountiful, useful to us as well as to native wildlife. Elder is one of the great, productive hedgerow plants, with flowers and then berries which can be used in a range of beverages and preserves. Elder is frequently found near badger sets and rabbit warrens, where the creatures have distributed the seeds. Birds and other small mammals enjoy the fruits too and the foliage is home for a variety of moths.


Hazel is another common hedgerow plant in the UK. The nuts are commonly eaten by people and of course by a range of wildlife. In fact, if you want to harvest them yourself you may be hard pressed to get to them before something else gets there first. Hazel can be coppiced to create thick hedgerows and yield useful timber.

DogwoodDogwood (Cornus Sanguinea)

Dogwood can grow in many soil types and it is another popular ornamental plant. It has attractive stems and foliage and gives great autumn colour. Dogwood is home to caterpillars, the flowers are visited by a range of insects and the berries are eaten by many mammals and birds.

Hawthorn hedgeHawthorn (Crataegus monogyna)

Hawthorn is another of the hedgerow trees found commonly across the UK. Their dense, thorny habit is great for hedging. They bloom prolifically in May, aiding pollinating insects, and a hawthorn in a mixed hedge can support over three hundred different insects. The berries can be eaten and are high in antioxidants but the seeds are poisonous (like apple pips) and should not be eaten.

A mixed, native hedgerow is a great way to help native wildlife and to increase the biodiversity in your garden.

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