One of the most important functions of a hedge is its ability to combat air pollution by trapping harmful particulates among the foliage. Recent research has shown that hedges – especially in built-up areas – can significantly reduce the amount of pollutants in the air by trapping them on the surface of the leaves.
Hedges therefore act as filters and, as they grow at a lower level than trees, they make the air we breathe cleaner. Hedges can also reduce noise pollution and, by absorbing moisture, they reduce the likelihood of flash flooding after heavy rain.
If correctly cared for, hedges don’t need much maintenance. Fast-growing hedges may need trimming two or three times a year during the growing season, but this isn’t essential for all of them. In small gardens, it’s possible to choose trim hedges to a narrow depth, so they take up less space. Most hedges are at least 60cm deep, but there’s no reason why you can’t keep a hedge narrower than that, as long as it’s planted against sturdy post-and-wire supports to improve its stability.