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'Instant' native species-rich hedgerow planting

Where ‘instant’ species rich hedgerow is a requirement as compensation for scrub or hedgerow loss, then it is recommended that a product (such as Species Rich Mixed Native Instant by best4hedging*) is used.

The resulting hedgerow must include a minimum of 6 species from the following list:

  • Hawthorn (Crataegus monogyna)

  • Blackthorn (Prunus spinosa)

  • Guelder rose (Viburnum opulus)

  • Spindle (Euonymus europaea)

  • Crab apple (Malus sylvestris)

  • Holly (Ilex europaeus)

  • Hazel (Coryllus avellana)

  • Field maple (Acer campestre)

  • Buckthorn (Rhamnus cathartica)

As instant hedgerow is the provision of early mature hedgerow plants, rather than immature whips or bare root plants, they require specific and appropriate management, including the following measures:

  • Weeds – Prevent weed and grass from encroaching on newly planted instant hedging;

  • Water and feeding – in the first year these are both essential to ensure the hedgerows establishment. Approximate watering guide is 5l of water at least twice a week but advice of a horticulturalist or aborist for more detailed and specific advice.

  • Pruning – this requirement differs depending on the desired form of the hedge (‘formal’ or ‘informal’), species composition and growth rates. Advice should be sought from the product provider, an horticulturalist or arborist.

*Please note that Practical Ecology Ltd has supplied the name of this product in order to provide an example of an appropriate product. We neither promote or endorse this product or the company that supplies it.


Species rich hedge should be planted wherever possible as part of developments to:

  • increase the availability of nesting habitat for small passerines (birds); and

  • provide refuge for common reptiles, amphibians, invertebrates and mammals.

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