Small but mighty, the humble hedge packs a punch when it comes to benefits for people and nature. Grow your own this planting season to start reaping the rewards on your land
Hedges are so much more than just boundary markers, they are countryside heroes. Vital features in the landscape, they’re an essential refuge for wildlife, they clean our air, capture carbon, reduce flooding and improve our wellbeing.
Considering their vast benefits, they’re incredible value for money – and the Woodland Trust’s subsidised tree and hedge packs offer even more bang for your buck. Available online from October-April – the main tree planting season – these packs are a great opportunity to transform your land. The subsidy means you’ll pay as little as 43p per tree and delivery is free too.
Why plant a hedge?
There are so many excellent reasons to plant a hero hedge this season.
Shelter your land
Hedges offer shelter for more than just wildlife. They’re a great way to help protect your livelihood, whether you want to establish shade for livestock, shield crops from windblow, provide cover for game birds or simply add a layer of security to your property.
Planting more hedges can offer a lifeline for our struggling species. Around 118,000 miles of hedging has been removed since 1950, isolating habitats and reducing the space nature needs to flourish. This fragmentation is one of the biggest threats facing UK wildlife, but new hedges can make a difference, providing vital corridors for wildlife to travel and thrive again.
Tackle climate change
Hedgerows help to mitigate the effects of climate change, capturing harmful atmospheric carbon dioxide and locking it away for decades. They remove harmful pollutants from the air while providing clean oxygen and help reduce flooding too.
Hedges needn’t be high maintenance
Less frequent trimming is better for wildlife, as many native hedgerow shrubs only flower and fruit on the previous year’s woody growth. Ideally, cut your hedges every other year, or on a three year rotation to cut one side, then the other followed by the top.
Late winter is the best time for any cutting back, as trees and shrubs are dormant and a shape-up won’t stress them out. This timing also maximises wildlife benefits, making fruits available for as long as possible. Never cut in spring, when early emerging insects rely on flowers and birds have begun nesting.
Start your hero hedge planting journey today
Plant more for less with the Trust’s subsidised hedge packs. Our native mixes make it easy and affordable to create shrubby hedgerows that are good for people, wildlife and environment. All are sourced and grown in the UK and Ireland, choose from three mixes to suit your needs:
- Traditional: hawthorn, blackthorn, hazel, crab apple and elder
- Uplands: hawthorn, hazel, holly, dog rose and crab apple
- Horse and livestock: hawthorn, dog rose, hazel and elder
Packs include trees to grow to full height at intervals along the hedge-line to increase the biodiversity and habitat value of the hedge. Choose from sessile oak, silver birch, hornbeam, goat willow or wild cherry.
Create at least 15 metres of hedgerow (4-5 saplings per metre) with packs starting from just £63. Other packs are also available to suit different spaces and purposes, from helping vulnerable species to greening urban communities.
The Woodland Trust is a registered charity (optional disclosure in England and Wales) No. 94344 and (optional disclosure in Scotland) No. SC038885. A non-profit making company limited by guarantee. Registered in England No. 1982873. Registered Office: Kempton Way, Grantham, Lincolnshire, NG31 6LL. The Woodland Trust logo is a registered trademark.
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