High Weald

Hedges are an important part of the Kent, Sussex and Surrey. Imagine the Weald without hedges! They are an integral part of its landscape, are often historic, and together with field margins provide an important wildlife habitat.

volunteers hedgelaying

  • Hedges represent decisions made by our ancestors over hundreds of years.

  • In the High Weald many hedges are remnants of the ancient woodland that once covered much of the area.

  • They are very different to the straight hedges, seen across much of England, which were planted during the 'enclosures' of the 18th and 19th centuries.

Their purpose

All hedges, whether unplanted or planted, serve a function. They indicate land ownership, assist with livestock management, provide shelter for farm animals and crops, help conserve soil and water, and would once have been a source of timber and fuel. They also provide homes, food and shelter for insects, birds and mammals, particularly when combined with a rough grass margin.


The following publications provide futher information and guidance on what makes Weald hedges special and how to create, manage and restore them. 

pdf High Weald Land Management Pack - Hedgerows section (1.48 MB)
pdf Hedges in the Weald habitat leaflet  (630 KB)  - please contact us if you would like a hard copy of this leaflet.

We also have a website page on Hedgerow plants suitable for the High Weald.  

Hedgelink is a national website that provides good generic information on hedges as well as information on UK hedgerow legislationn