It is hard to underestimate the importance of hedgerows as part of the British countryside, and not only as a natural method for boundary distinctions. From a farming perspective, there are a number of benefits that come with hedgerow planting.
As our climate continues to change, hedgerows play an important role as a means to help reduce flooding. This help to increase the resilience of farms to extreme weather, which is becoming more normal.
Hedgerows offer a natural barrier to flood water and increase the absorption of water into the ground. As well as this, they act as windbreaks, protecting vulnerable crops whilst offering shade and shelter for animals. Hedgerows can also reduce the amount of fertiliser, pesticide and eroded topsoil from reaching watercourses.
Of course, hedgerows create a stock proof barrier, but they also provide wildlife corridors and help to increase biodiversity, supporting insects and birds. They can boost crop production by sustaining key pollinators and natural predators of crop pests.
AF supplier, British Hardwood Tree Nursery, recommends a mix of 70% Hawthorn, 10% Blackthorn, with the remaining 20% made up of a combination of species that can include Hazel, Common Dogwood, Dog Rose & Crab Apple. This provides a tough mix of native species that will grow almost anywhere.