Hedges can be a mini-paradise for animals during different months of the year, so planting a hedge can be beneficial for a wide range of critters and wildlife. This isn’t limited to just small mammals and birds; butterflies and moths can also take advantage of the shelter and source of food. Understanding what this means for your garden is important as not only do you want avoid harming any nesting wildlife, but there are laws protecting them which you must abide by. Fear not, our handy guide on how your hedge work may be affected will keep you compliant.
Hints and tips on how to take care of your hedges and bushes throughout the year.
The best times to trim your hedge depends on the type of hedge you have and whether it is a formal or informal shape you are after. You must also make sure that there are no nesting birds when you plan to trim your hedge. It is an offence under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 to trim a hedge when there is a nest being built or being used by birds.
Shaping a hedge or bush is generally only limited by a hedge’s type, size and your imagination. This is commonly called topiary. It is relatively easy to do and just requires a little practice.
Boundaries are officially described as “any structure that separates your property from your neighbour’s, such as a fence, wall or hedge”. There is currently no law regarding who is responsible for each side, however this is usually decided in a boundary agreement based on the land attributed to a property. A boundary agreement is usually set between two parties regarding the position of the boundary or the maintenance as and when it pertains to a hedge.
Deciding when to move your hedge will take a lot of forward planning, many hedges will need time to prepare for the move. If you plan to prune the roots before the move, you will need to do this the spring before the move in the autumn or winter. For more mature plants, this should be done the year before.
Unfortunately it isn’t always just a case of picking up hedge trimmers or secateurs and attacking your hedge on a whim. To really get the best out of your hedge in the long term, you need to do some planning beforehand. Having a clear understanding of what you want to achieve before tackling it with the trimmers is the first step to a perfectly manicured hedge.
The distinguishing factor between petrol and electric hedge trimmers is their fuel type. A petrol hedge trimmer is run using petrol, whereas an electric hedge trimmer is either powered by a battery (cordless) or the mains (corded).
Before you get cracking with the hedge work you should always plan ahead. The end result is something you will have to live with for a few months so you’d better make sure you get it right the first time. Make sure you plan how much you want to cut back and what type of look you’re after. The age of your hedge will determine how much you need to cut, as new hedges will need more formative pruning than the more established varieties.