Hedge Management Plans

Hedgerows need to be managed and that management can play a crucial part in their long term survival. Finding the right balance between maintenance and capital work costs, wildlife habitat and the long term condition of your hedges can be very difficult. Hedges are all too often merely ‘controlled’ or ‘kept tidy’

You may be thinking of entering an Agri Environment schemes such as ELS and HLS or you may already be in a scheme in which hedges play an important part. You may just feel that your hedges need ‘sorting out’, that for too long they just get trimmed every year and they are losing condition.

An example of a hedge management plan

Mostly Hawthorn, medium height, layed in the past.
Management…. Allow to gain height by incremental trimming and lay in 5 years time.
Aims… Thick dense hedge, lightly trimmed
Short section of severely over trimmed hedge now only Elder.
Management… Grub out all of hedge and turn over soil to create good planting medium.
Plant mixed hedge.
Aims…Create a mixed species hedge.
Roadside hedge of mixed species.
Management… Continue to trim the road side of the hedge for safety purposes but aim to achieve an A shape if possible. The field side could be trimmed less frequently or not as hard to encourage fruit. If the hedge is cut very year at the same height it will start to deteriorate so trimming must start to be lighter.
Aims ..a higher hedge over time. Lightly trimmed
Mixed species hedge with good wildlife potential. However the hedge has
been trimmed to the same height for many years and is showing signs of becoming thin in the base. Good field margin habitat adjacent to hedge.
Management… Trim lightly and allow to develop into an A shaped hedge which is wide
at the base.
Aims… In time this hedge will need coppicing to improve its structure.
Tall, species rich hedge, very good for wildlife. Also of value for Partridge shoot?
Management…Needs occasional re shaping with either circular saw or flail to control
growth perhaps alternate sides every 4-5 years.
Aims…Manage as a high hedge for the foreseeable future. Ultimately will need to be coppiced
Similar to hedge 4. Mixed species with good wildlife potential. Yellowhammer and
Goldfinch seen on it during survey. Good field margin habitat.
Management….. Trim to A shaped hedge with wide base. Allow height to slowly
Aims…. tall, dense hedge being trimmed lightly
Woodland edge… No hedge management required



Download an Example of a Hedge Management Plan

Hedge management is a vital part of keeping a healthy and robust hedge. Planning is an important part of this and Countryside Management can help you formulate and execute a plan. Once your plan is in place, your hedgerows will benefit from regular planned maintenance and care

Please contact Countryside Management to discuss the idea of a hedgerow survey and management plan.

Within HLS a grant towards payment of a hedge management plan can often be obtained.