The versatility of trees astounds me! As early man discovered, I can chop two-thirds of the way through the stem near ground level with an axe, then bend and split this tree down to be woven and intertwined with other trees treated in the same way!

The wonder is that the trees (now referred to as ‘pleachers’) will continue to grow using the thin strip of retained bark and so form a living fence. Shoots will sprout not only from the pleacher but also from the stump of the tree, and will all grow up to be laid over again in 8 or 10 years time.

Hazel and Hawthorn laid this year

Benefits of hedgelaying are so many. As a boundary method hedgelaying produces a thick, dense barrier which can be made stock-proof if there are sufficient numbers of blackthorn or hawthorn trees in the hedge. The woven hedge now grows all the fruits, berries and nuts to support maximum wildlife, as opposed to a flailed hedge which provides barren fare.  For example, many plants only produce berries on growth which is two years old, so a laid hedge supports wildlife for many years, whilst a flailed hedge is cut every year and produces nothing for wildlife.

I could also mention the physical and creative exercise which laying a hedge gives me and the sense of being a positive force in the landscape.  In addition, two thirds of the wood is cut out of the hedge when laying it, producing big piles of firewood and woodland produce such as bean poles, hurdle making material, sculptural pieces, pea sticks, furniture material etc.

Why not take action now and transform your hedges and our land’s biodiversity? Contact us to find out more.