I’ve spent the last two years working on a book about the history and current state of Britain’s hedges and hedgerows, how they fit in with the story of British gardening, farming, and land ownership, with sections on topiary, hedge disputes and so on.

Hedge Britannia was published by Bloomsbury in May 2012. You can buy it online from Waterstones or Amazon though the nicest method would be from your local bookshop if you still have one.

I will also be putting up a few thoughts, extracts, pictures of hedges and anything else that occurs to me here.

Hugh Barker

10 responses to “About

  1. VP

    How fascinating! I was amazed to learn when visiting Highgrove last year that’s there’s eleven different kinds of hedges. Have been trying (off and on) to find out what they were ever since!

  2. Is that eleven kinds of hedge at Highgrove itself? If not, I’m not sure what it would mean – there are so many different ways to categorise hedges, whether by species (hawthorn, hazel, elm, field maple, hornbeam, beech, blackthorn, buckthorn and holly are the most common agricultural ones in the UK, but there are obviously many other species used as hedges in gardens, from box, privet, laurel, yew and so on), by how the hedge is maintained, (hedgelaying, coppicing, pleaching, etc) and so on.

    • VP

      I think it was regional styles rather than species? But I see the National Hedgelaying Society refers to 30 rather than 11…

      So perhaps it was 11 used at Highgrove itself…

      • Yes, that would make sense. Or eleven might be a broad count of hedgelaying styles – you can count more but in some cases, such as some the Welsh styles and Devon/North Somerset, several could perhaps be counted as a single style instead.

  3. Dear Hugh,
    A work colleague showed me your book today – with my hedge in it! I was honoured. However, my hedge is now looking closer to the animal it was supposed to represent (i.e. I failed!). I’ll happily send you an updated photo (and you can decide on the animal?).
    All best wishes – and thanks for including my hedge, a memorial to my favourite aunt.

  4. hugh: I am a journalist who is writing about topiaries for MSN.com, and I was hoping you knew how to get in touch with Gavin Hogg? I know you mentioned on your blog that he sent you pictures of his elephant shrubs. I also was looking for other unique yards out there and wondered if you had ideas…? My deadline is March 7. Thanks!

  5. Hi Hugh
    I was really interested to come across your Blog concerning all things Hedge!
    You may be interested to learn of a really historic hedge in an urban environment in Bristol?

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