Devon’s hedges are world class! They are of great historical importance, define the county’s beautiful farmed landscapes, and support an immense amount of wildlife. The Devon Hedge Group helps people to appreciate and understand this. Our aim is to ensure that Devon’s amazing hedges remain intact and healthy for future generations to enjoy.

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Devon has more hedges than any other place in the UK. 53,000 km (33,000 miles) remain, forming a network from coast to coast that is broken only by cities, major roads, rivers and the high moors. Even better, most of these hedges are of high quality – the county has about one fifth of all the species-rich hedges in England. Together they are of international importance, as an historical, cultural, wildlife and landscape resource. They are world class!

A Devon hedge is a linear earth bank, faced either with stone or turf, with native trees or shrubs growing on it. Sometimes banks which have no trees or shrubs growing on them are called hedges in Devon.

The complete Devon hedge has a not just a bank with shrubs and the occasional mature tree growing on it, but also associated flower-rich margins and ideally a ditch too.

Across the county there are many types of Devon hedge, depending on bank structure and the species of shrub or tree growing on them. 


The Devon Hedge Group draws together a wide range of organisations and individuals interested in conserving Devon’s hedges. We raise awareness of and interest in the county’s extraordinary hedge heritage, so it may survive long into the future. We also provide guidance and training from experts on hedge management (including traditional hedge laying, wildlife-friendly trimming, and hedge planting and restoration), and influence policy and funding to benefit hedges.

Formed in 1994, the group arranged a Devon Year of the Hedge in 2014 to celebrate its 20th year. We are the longest running local hedge group in the country.

Over the years we have succeeded in generating a great deal of media attention, and have done much to raise the profile of hedges in the county. We have produced a number of quality publications, including, in 2014, the book Devon Hedges, and have been commended by a House of Commons Select Committee for our work.

In many years we arrange a Devon Hedge Week, usually in the autumn half term, during which a programme of hedge-related events takes place across the county. We have organised an annual Hedge Laying Competition (including a novice section), to recognise and reward good practice in hedge management. We currently run the Devon Hedge Award which focusses on different issues each year. 

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