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by Frann Leach
If you are growing crops, you will probably need to take measures to exclude animals, even if only the two-legged variety. Fences and walls only work against the least determined of your uninvited guests. Keeping the others outside may require a bit of creativity.
Barrier hedging is an excellent solution, which adds interest and provides a habitat for smaller species to increase bio-diversity, while at the same time keeping burglars, deer and so on OUTSIDE.
Be aware that many of these plants are thorned or otherwise armoured, and if you have young children, tell them to keep away. After one or two brushes, it's unlikely they will continue to try and get past your defences, and your peace of mind knowing that intruders are kept out, and your children in, may well be worth a couple of tearful episodes. If this approach doesn't appeal to you, then you need to rethink the use of barrier hedging.
Plants for animalproof hedges
|Plant name||Latin name||Characteristics|
|Beech||Fagus sylvatica||Slow growing, keeps leaves in winter|
|Blackthorn||Prunus spinosa||Quick growing, viscious spines|
|Field maple||Acer campestre||Best in mixed hedge|
|Hawthorn/quickthorn||Crataegus monogyna||Quick growing, spiny|
|Hornbeam||Carpinus betulus||Slow growing, keeps leaves in winter|
|Roses||Rosa rugosa||Spiny, decorative flowers and hips, informal|
|Sea buckthorn||Hippophae rhamnoides||Spiny, informal|
|Berberis||Berberis x stenophylla||Spiny, decorative flowers, informal|
|Escallonia||Escallonia||Informal, decorative flowers|
|Leyland cypress||X Cupressocyparis leylandii||Quick growing. Difficult to restrain and may cause a nuisance|
|Privet||Ligustrum ovalifolium||Quick growing|
|Yew||Taxus baccata||Poisonous, slow growing|