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Instructable on Making a Irish Style Hedgerow Answered

I couldn't figure out if this should be in Outdoors, Burning Questions or Green. Since I'm looking for an ible on this, Burning Questions it is!

I was wondering if any of the members from Ireland or the UK could share any knowledge of hedgerows. I've of course heard of them but never really thought much about it until I read an article from an American that moved to Ireland. His description was interesting to me and I started to look up how to make my own but the descriptions I found were simplistic and didn't do what I was reading about in the article. Maybe I didn't look in the right place?

In any event, an Instructable on this would be great or if anyone could just share what they know on the subject I'd like to try my hand at making my own since I have an aging privacy fence that will probably only last me a few more years (if that)  and I'd like to start replacing it with a hedgerow.



Yep, hedge laying. My arms are still covered in scratches from last weekend when I was tidying up a 50 foot hawthorn hedge I laid a few years ago. 
There's still a fair bit of it goes on in the UK, and there's a hedgelaying society who claim around 500 members. 
Different areas have different styles of laying depending on the terrain and which animals you're trying to contain so for example you'd need a lot more weight to a bullock field hedge than a sheep field.  My hedge laying style was more 'catch as catch can'.
Hawthorn is a traditional plant for hedging as the thorns discourage stock from pushing through, but I've mixed in hazel, cotoneaster, yew, ash, elder and a couple of other similar plants into mine to make it more of a mixed hedgerow.

Around 5 years ago I saw a hedge in Wales being laid, alongside a railway.  I thought at the time he'd gone too far with the cutting and trimming and it was going to die, but passing by now it is a perfectly formed solid block of impassable green.  Obviously done by a professional.

Great info, I'm not too sure I get the different styles yet but I just did a skim. I'll have to do thorough read through when I get a moment.

You're looking for laying a hedge - it's a dying skill, but it involves cutting down at an angle, part-way through the trunk of the bushes in the hedge, and bending the trunk over to weave it into the next hedge along. The branches all grow upwards, making a more closely-tangled hedge.

These days, sadly, most UK farmers just drive along the hedge with an over-sized lawnmower, hacking off the outer branches.

Right, that's one of the main points I was interested in. I imagine there's a bit of technique to that. Not stumbling through it blindly would be great so any info even ancecdotal would be great.

There's also the element of polyculture in the hedgerow. What plants work well together? Even better, what types of qualities of plants work best together?

Here you go:


Ah, I start to understand! Thanks!