Ian’s Gardening Tales From The Weald – Hedge Cutting And Nesting Birds

Ian is a Gardens Manager living in Crowhurst, working as part of a team in three large country gardens in the Sussex and Kent Weald, where he is passionate about natural gardening.

Cutting Hedges
Cutting Hedges

This month we begin our hedge cutting regime in all of our gardens. Except for the minimal reduction of lateral growth in the summer for access, we haven’t cut since the end of February. This allows the birds to complete their second or even third brood cycles.

We cut our hedges to a ‘batter’. This means the bottom of the hedge is fatter than the top so as the face of the hedge receives equal amounts of light.

Garden lore advises us to complete evergreen hedges such as yew, box, holly and bay in advance of the first frosts so as to give the cuts time to heal before colder weather sets in. Deciduous hedging such as beech, blackthorn, hawthorn, hazel and spindle can be cut right up to before the birds nest again as we finish our cutting season up to late February again.

Hedge Shape
Hedge Shape

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