12 Hedgerow species to spot this autumn!
1) Hawthorn: its white blossoms you will find teaming with insects. Dormice eat the flowers and its dense thorny twists protect nesting birds.
2)Blackthorn: an excellent barrier. Young twigs in Winter will be full of white eggs of the brown hairstreak butterfly, it relies on blackthorn for its life cycle.
3)Hazel catkins: hazel nuts are appreciated by birds, mammals and us & Hazel dormice rely on this tree and can be found in Old, wide hedgerows.
4)Field maple: it is highly resistant to air pollution and its sap can be used to make maple syrup. It is also a winner with insects, particularly aphids and their predators.
5)Purging buckthorn: its dense growth makes it an ideal nesting site for many birds. The green flowers are a good source of pollen and nectar and the opposite-placed leaves are the main food plant for the brimstone butterfly caterpillar.
6)Bramble: the small roses in summer are appreciated by honeybees and other insects and the leaves are readily eaten. Blackberry picking is probably the oldest form of harvest.
7)Elm: Dutch elm disease killer 30 million trees in the 1970’s but they are slowly coming back into our countryside.
8)Elder: valuable to wildlife and foraging human alike, its weak and pithy wood makes for a gappy hedge. The flowers make a delicious cordial, the claret-coloured berries are beloved of doormice, bank voles and birds.
9)Crab apple: always buzzing and full of insects they are understandably popular with wildlife.
10)Spindle: known as robins bread for its attraction of aphids and birds, it has a high wildlife value.
11)Wayfaring tree: it grows close to paths, look for them in hedges and woodland edges, with full bloom in the spring and heavy with berries in the autumn.
12)Dogwood: is a broadleaf shrub which thrives in damp woodland edges. After pollination by insects, the flowers develop into small black berries – sometimes called ‘dogberries’.