Nest sites for birds are important, but just as important are places where birds can shelter and roost
As well as providing nesting sites, a thick row of hedges gives birds really good protection against wind, rain and snow.
We have a laurel hedge that has a wooden fence behind it. This gives two fold protection. The hedge stops the bad weather and the fence gives ‘double insulation’.
My laurel hedge is not as healthy as it was. I want to get it sorted, but it’s made me think about planting another hedge for the future.
Some of the hawthorn hedges nearby be are, I’m sure, older than me! They give shelter to a lot of birds.
When I was a youngster we played along the grass verges and hedgerows. The hedges were mature and old then. This would be about 50 years ago. They were our playground. These same hedgerows are still there – just the same as they were 50 years. ago. So goodness knows how old they are. But it is certain that year after year, after year – for over 50 years these hedges have been giving birds nesting sites, roosting sites, food and shelter!
Whoever planted them should have got a medal.
If you plant a hedge it is there for years.
Our laurel hedge is evergreen ( as are all laurel hedges!). Evergreen hedges give protection to birds all year round.
In the winter months birds can spend as many as 16 hours at their roosts! So providing a bush or hedge is particularly important for the winter months and will surely make life easier for our garden birds. I bet it’s true to say that it will even save the lives of some birds.
I get a lot of birds roosting in our laurel hedge. It is thick, high and old.
Some good evergreen foliage is
- Beech grown as a hedge it keeps it leaves.
- Ivy covered trees are populare roosting sites for birds.
- A bramble patch is a popular roosting site with sparrows and finches.
As well as giving protection some shrubs and hedges give food for birds as well. More of that another day.