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Today, mature hedges' uses include screening unsightly developments.
Around 20 million elm trees, most of them hedgerow trees, were felled or died through Dutch elm disease in the late 1960s.
Growing out of the wall is a hedge of hawthorn, brambles, vines, and trees, in thickness from one to three feet.
Originally property demarcations, hedgerows protect crops and cattle from the ocean winds that sweep across the land.
Increasingly, they are valued too for the major role they have to play in preventing soil loss and reducing pollution, and for their potential to regulate water supply and to reduce flooding.
In addition to maintaining the health of the environment, hedgerows also play a huge role in providing shelter for smaller animals like birds and insects.
In essence, hedgelaying consists of cutting most of the way through the stem of each plant near the base, bending it over and interweaving or pleaching it between wooden stakes.