Posted: 26/01/2013 at 17:05
Having had a beech hedge which took years to get rid of you will gather I'm not a fan! They shed their leaves all in one go in the spring, grow at a rate of knots (I once planted a delphinium "in front" of the hedge - by the time it bloomed, it was inside it!)and they suck the moisture from the soil. They are the devil to keep under control, and the trimmings take some getting rid of!
What about considering a trellis fence with climbers? Clematis Montana grows very fast - but is very tolerant of hard pruning after flowering, in my experience. It's beautiful in flower.
btw in Somerset we, too , have found it less cold, thank goodness. But there's still a lot of snow on the moor! Rain predicted for tomorrow - but I have daffodils in bloom already and crocus in bud. Spring is on the way, I hope.