Hedging for wildlife

We are planting a hedge this winter along the boundary of our garden. We have 26m to fill and I would like this to be good for birds, bees and other wildlife and cooking/eating. I am looking at hazel, crab apple, hawthorn, Blackthorn, dog rose, sweet briar, rosa rugosa, bird cherry. Would like plums, either cherry plum or wild plum but not sure which would be best. Also  thinking about wild pear too? We are also planting an apple tree and green gage tree nearby so want the crab apple and plum for pollination. 

We are going to keep it at about 1-1.5m tall for now. Any recommendations and advice on this, also maybe planting/pruning advide too please. 

  • Forgot to mention there is a large oak tree shading a good patch of the fencing. I have only found purging buckthorn for this area. It may get sun first thing in the morning but will otherwise be shaded.
  • Hi Unigoat
    That's a cracking idea, have a look at this website for some advice, they also do a RSPB approved hedge.
    www.best4hedging.co.uk/wildlife-hedging-c121
    Others may be along to give you some ideas too.

    My Flickr photos

  • In reply to Alan.:

    Thankyou Alan. I will have a look at that.

  • For a relatively low hedge (1 metre - 1.5 metres), IMO, you are better off, and wildlife will be helped more, if you go with evergreen, shrubs that form hedging or maybe beech, which provides cover and keeps old leaves on til Spring. Trees like hazel will be little value and fruit trees will struggle to produce flowers at such low height. Shrub examples could be berberis. Yew hedges are very nice and manage to fruit at low height. 

  • In reply to Robbo:

    Thanks Robbo
    Good point! Think we will let it grow a bit taller then. I have looked at adding berberis and will probably add this too as nice colour change.
  • In reply to Robbo:

    Robbo said:
    Yew hedges are very nice and manage to fruit at low height. 

    What will eat yew, apart from hawfinches?

    Our herring gulls are red listed birds.  Think about that the next time you hear some flaming idiot calling for a cull of them.

  • Hi Clare,    I found this bit of info on the Yew Tree and hedging and it's inhabitants and foragers !    Surprised me too at how much benefit to wildlife it offers.  

    _________________________________________________________________________

    Regards, Hazel 

    "Each kindness shown to birds or men is sure to flutter back again" 

  • Wow. That's really useful - thanks, Hazy!

    Our herring gulls are red listed birds.  Think about that the next time you hear some flaming idiot calling for a cull of them.

  • Please be cautious about using yew if the hedge is accessible to livestock, especially cattle or equines as it's highly toxic to them.

    Cin J

  • In reply to Germain:

    Germain said:
    Please be cautious about using yew if the hedge is accessible to livestock, especially cattle or equines as it's highly toxic to them.

    That's one of the few things I already knew about yew.  I'm planning to chat to the dog owners either side of me, though.

    Our herring gulls are red listed birds.  Think about that the next time you hear some flaming idiot calling for a cull of them.