Choosing native hedge species

Are you after a countryside hedge, great for wildlife? A native mixed hedge, based on 60% hawthorn and four other species, could be ideal. This type of hedge works well on field boundaries and in rural settings. We sell native mixed hedge by the metre (four plants).

But what species should I choose to go alongside the hawthorn, I hear you ask! The best choice can depend simply on characteristics you want like flowers, berries or thorns, or it might be that you need to pick species that will cope with a certain soil or drainage. See the table below for a quick comparison of characteristics.

Native hedge species table reduced 7

Other things that might guide your choice:

Local tradition

In Somerset, for example, we often recommend a mix of field maple, dogwood and hazel to go with the hawthorn.


Flowering species offer nectar for pollinators and those with fruits and nuts attract wildlife. (Note you may need to hold off trimming the hedge too much if you want to enjoy the flowers.) Meanwhile, the brown hairstreak butterfly lays its eggs on blackthorn.

Hedgerow harvest

Rosehips and elderberries can be harvested to make nutritious syrups; crab apples for crab apple jelly. And of course, elderflowers for wine or cordial. Don't expect to get many hazel nuts before the squirrels, though!

Autumn colour

Dogwood and field maple offer lovely autumn shades of orange/red and butter yellow.

Hedging species available individually

We offer a wider range of native species that you may wish to add in to your hedge, that aren't offered as part of this mix. For example, look at individual product pages for:

Alder buckthorn (Rhamnus frangula)

Elder (Sambucus nigra)

Guelder rose (Viburnum opulus)

Purging buckthorn (Rhamnus cathartica)

Spindle (Euonymus europaeus)

Wayfaring tree (Viburnum lantana)

Wild privet (Ligustrum vulgare)

Note that these are only available bare rooted, so must be pre-ordered for pick-up/delivery during the bare root planting season, November-March (approx.)

Read more about:

Buying bare root hedging

Bare root or container

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