Where you are planting a new hedge or gapping up an existing hedge, plants must be established in a double row with a minimum of 6 plants per metre. A single species must not account for more than 75% of plants established. Species used should be native-species trees and shrubs here, although beech and sycamore may be planted where these are appropriate and traditional in hedges locally. Stock of local provenance should be used wherever possible. Plants must be protected from grazing livestock and, where they are a problem, rabbits. Protection may be in the form of stockproof fencing with, where necessary, rabbit-proof netting.
Where small mammals (eg voles) are a problem and might cause damage to the new hedge plants, you may wish to safeguard each hedge plant with tree protection. Currently we are not able to fund short tree protectors for new hedge planting.
Weed control around each hedge plant is essential during the first three to four years. Weed control may be carried out by frequent cutting or mulching (incl. black polythene sheeting) or spot treatment using a herbicide approved for this purpose. You must have the highway authority's consent before planting or re-planting hedges within 5 metres of the edge of any major roadway.
Where you are managing a hedge under either the Management of Hedgerows or Management of Extended Hedges options, you can only adopt this capital option for new hedge planting or gapping up carried out during the first 18 months of development of a newly planted hedge.