Tall or overgrown hedgerows
This gallery shows examples of tall and overgrown hedges, from over mature leggy hedges to lines of trees. Without any form of management, the shrubs that make up the hedge will slowly turn into trees. Whilst we are big fans of trees in hedgerows, it isn't great for the whole hedge to turn into a line of trees as it will lose all the shrubby growth at the base that is so good for wildlife, and these tree lines are often less permeant than hedgerows can be.
H8 Tall and leggy hedgerow, which may have spreading tops. These have not been trimmed for many years and begin to lack significant foliage in the lower parts of the hedge. Stems are still healthy, but may be infrequent and sometimes getting too large to lay easily.
H9 Over-mature hedgerow, usually tall and leggy with spreading tops which might be dying back, risking collapse. The base of these hedges are thin, with little/no significant woody foliage in the lower parts. May be developing gaps
H10 Line of trees. Without any management, these hedgerows have developed into a line of trees. They have very little, if any, woody undergrowth and may be increasingly gappy.
Tall and overgrown hedgerows
H8 This is an H8 hedge, it has got tall and overgrown, to the point that the vegetation at the base has got quite thin (despite the sides being trimmed). The bulk of the hedge is still quite dense, but laying would thicken it out from the base.
H8 This hedge has been left in a non intervention state for many years. It has ballooned out of its original shape, for many years providing blossom, berries and great wildlife habitat, but it has started shading out the base and if left the base vegetation will thin considerably more.
H8 This is another H8 hedge that has been left in non-intervention for a number of years. From this angle you can see that the base of the hedge has little vegetation left, and gaps have formed as the hedge stems are tenting towards tree stools, and stems are lost.
H8 This hedge still has frequent healthy stems, although the base vegetation is thin. From this angle you can see that the hedge has a spreading top. You can see that it has not been cut in a number of years. This would be a good candidate for rejuvenation through laying.
H9 This is an old hawthorn and hazel hedge that has not been managed in years. The gaps between the stems are getting wider as stems die and it is far from being stock proof. The tops are spreading and the growth has started to swamp the standard trees in the hedgerow.
H9 This hedge has not been trimmed in a number of years, and the hedge plants have now grown almost into full trees. Enough light is getting to the base that there is still a bit of vegetation low down, but without intervention these stems will start to be lost. This could either be thinned and managed as a line of trees, or coppiced to be brought back into a hedge cycle.
H9 This hawthorn hedge has been neglected and the shrubs have all but turned into a line of trees. The tops are spreading, a few are collapsing leaving larger gaps. Depending on the health of the stems (if too old they may be rotting a the base) it may be possible to still rejuvenate, although the gaps will need re-planting.
H9 This is another H9 hedge, albeit with fewer gaps and more vegetation in the base. The tops are spreading and it would benefit from rejuvenation.
H9 The hedgerow in the background has long been left without management. Although it is now approaching 'line of trees' stage, there is still some shrubby growth at the base and has the potential to be rejuvenated.
H9 This hedge has been left with no management and all the hedge structure plants have grown upwards into young trees. Competing with each-other for light, they are all very tall and thin and if not managed soon they will start to outcompete and some will be lost. However at this stage the hedge can still be rejuvenated.
H9 This is just about an H9 hedge, it has been left with no management and is almost at the 'line of trees' stage. Under expert management, this hedge could be rejuvenated to thicken it up from the base/
H10 This is a hedge that has long been left to its own devices. It has turned into a line of trees and no longer has any base vegetation.
H10 This is an old hawthorn hedge that has been left unmanaged for a long time. It has turned into a line of hedgerow trees and now has no base vegetation. You can see that these trees are vulnerable and will slowly be lost.