Monday, 13 September 2010

The Hedgerow

'Hedgerows are rooted deeply in our national consciousness as indispensable elements of our ideal of the English countryside. They stitch together the fabric of our landscape to create a scene unmatched except where newly created by seventeenth-century colonists in a few parts of the old Empire such as New England, Tasmania and parts of New Zealand. Many are more ancient by centuries than our castles, cathedrals and abbeys and in the words of W.G. Hoskins, ''they represent the physical evidence of decisions made long ago and fixed solidly on the ground''. By their character they proclaim the regional identity of the countryside as surely as a knight's pedigree was revealed by the charge on his shield.'

From 'Discovering Hedgerows' by David Street and Rosamond Richardson.

'The bramble has much folklore attached to it: sick children used to be passed through an arch of bramble that had rooted at both ends in order to make them better; it was also believed that this could cure rheumatism. The Greeks and Romans used blackberries to cure gout, and infusions of the leaves are still used in folk medicine to relieve sore throats and tonsillitis. Current medical researchers are investigating the possibility that the leaves contain anti-diabetic properties.'

You can tell the age of a hedge by the number of species of plants and trees that grow in it.


  1. One of the best parts about moving to the UK was discovering the hedgerows. I love them. I love the old one's with the many species. I especially love the old one's that have been cut back for many years leaving gnarled, moss covered trunks under the mass of branches an berries!

    The other thing about hedges that I like is their 'in-between' nature. They aren't just boundaries, and they are more than thresholds between two field, they are living places between two other spaces. There's something magical in that I think.

  2. This is the first time I have visited your blog. It is lovely! I will keep visiting.
    I'm a follower now!


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