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A trimmed hedge

As a landowner it’s your duty to maintain your hedgerows and prevent them from obstructing roadways and paths.

Trimming and maintaining hedgerows is a really important element to grounds maintenance that shouldn’t be overlooked. When trimming your hedgerows, you trigger further growth of the plant life by mulching down the overgrowth which will be used as nutrients by the surrounding plant life while stimulating increased growth.

When it comes to trimming your hedges, it’s important to be aware of nesting birds and wildlife. Walk along your hedges and inspect them for signs of nesting birds before you start trimming.

Under Section 1 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981, it’s an offence to intentionally damage or destroy a wild bird’s nest while it is being built or in use. That includes consciously using a hedge trimmer when there is a bird’s nest in your hedgerow, and in the process of doing so causes the nest to be damaged or destroyed.

For this reason, bird conservation organisations such as the RSPB recommend that you do not cut your hedgerows between March and August, when the main breeding season for nesting birds occurs. This is due to the high risk of damaging or destroying birds’ nests, and the disruption to the food supply that the birds rely on.

You might hear that older growth can be difficult to cut with your machinery which is why you should regularly trim your hedge, and that the final outcome of cutting older material can look messy when the reality is that today’s arsenal of hedge cutting tools and equipment are more than capable of cutting two or even three year old growth with ease, and the finish is dictated by the condition of the cutting tool more than any other factor. When blunt or low-quality cutting tools are used, the finish will inevitably be poor.

The key to having thick and healthy hedgerows is to work with a two-to-three-year rotation to allow your hedgerows the time to grow and thicken or by cutting annually, but cutting slightly further away from the stem year on year. If you cut the same point on the stem, it will create scarring which will prevent further growth, leaving them looking thinned and lifeless.

It’s important to ensure you’re using good quality, well maintained equipment to trim your hedges for the best results. We sell a huge range of hedge trimming and maintenance equipment from hedge flails to tree shears. For more information and pricing, get in touch on 01837 682610.