Unlike walls and fences, hedges can provide us with benefits that far outreach simple aesthetic purposes. Because they have the natural ability to reduce noise, capture pollution, provide shelter/food for wildlife, and mitigate flooding, hedges provide us with some incredible environmental benefits that are little-known by the general public! Since environmental impact is becoming an increasingly important topic in modern society, it seems fitting that we run through the finest benefits that hedges have to offer us.
A recent study conducted by Surrey’s Global Centre for Clean Air Research found that a hedge could cut air pollution by a whopping 50%! Research has also suggested that hedges are far better at soaking up potential air pollution among tall buildings than trees are. In urban areas this could be absolutely vital when you consider the increases in air pollution that come from inhabitants living in such areas. Councils will often plant more trees without considering the potential advantages that hedges might have over trees. For these reasons hedges could be absolutely pivotal in combating damage to the environment through air pollution in the future.
Hedges are able to trap harmful toxins at exhaust pipe level, thereby reducing people’s direct exposure to toxic pollutants. For this reason councils are trying to plant low hedges between the street and pedestrians if pavements are wide enough to allow it. The advantage of hedges is that they can get right down at tailpipe level. Emissions from vehicles begin to dilute rapidly as you move further away from the road, so any hedge that can act as a barrier by catching pollutants on the leaves and slowing down the airflow is going to inevitably offer people living in homes improved protection.
When planted at roadsides, hedges have the remarkable ability to reduce noise pollution. Scientific studies have established that hedges with particularly dense vegetation can effectively reduce noise pollution, even if they are relatively small. Too much noise can cause harmful stress reactions for the human body, with incredibly extensive health consequences. For these reasons hedges can be extremely beneficial in combating noise-related health problems!
Habitats for animals
Hedges will help wildlife avoid the extremely detrimental effects of ongoing climate change by providing new homes and shelter for species that may have lost their original habitats. A thicker hedge will provide shelter for a distance that is roughly a whopping three times its height! As well as providing shade, hedges can also provide surrounding wildlife with transpiration cooling. This means that they release quantities of water into the surrounding atmosphere from their leaves via a form of transpiration, and so consequently the surrounding air is substantially cooled as water is transformed from liquid to vapour.
Flood risk reduction
Hedges have been shown to be efficient in the slow release and storage of water during significant heavy rainfall events. Hedges can reduce the soil water content from across field systems regardless of the gradient of a slope, because of reducing the ground water content in the immediate vicinity of a given hedge. This can lead to water being pulled in from the soil surrounding the hedge, initiating a subtle gradient of flow.
Readyhedge are a responsible and ethical nursery, situated in the south of Worcestershire. We specialise in growing instant hedging in metre-long lengths, available in either Readyhedge bags or Readyhedge troughs. The heights of our hedges range from 30cm tall up to 200cm tall.
If you want more information about who we are, what we do and how we can help you grow the most beautiful of hedges, then take a look at our website www.readyhedgeltd.com or give us a call on 01386 750 585 for any advice you may need – we’d be happy to help!