Paul Blissett Hedgelaying

30 years hedging in Bucks, Beds & Herts
Twelve miles of hedge laid since 2000
The first and largest hedgelaying website

Sources and bibliography

Sources suitable as reference works on hedges are clearly indicated; some of these books cover hedging only incidentally.

Author Title and publisher Comments
Angus, Anne Hedgerow
Partridge Press 1987
162 pages
Beautifully produced book in the form of a journal describing a particular hedge in West Wales throughout the year.  Marvellous illustrations throughout by Michael Woods
Beddall, J.H. Hedges for Farm and Garden
Faber & Faber 1950
360 pages
Excellent book.  Large section on farm hedges.  Also covers fences, gates, stiles, stone and turf hedges.  Out of print and difficult to find!
Brooks, Alan and Agate, Elizabeth Hedging
BTCV 1975/1998
123 pages

The best practical guide to hedgelaying.  Also covers planting and establishment.  Updated and much improved in 1998 with lots more information on regional styles of hedgelaying. I suppose I should declare an interest as I submitted content for the final edition (on a voluntary basis!), particularly in respect of working with volunteers and for the description and schematic of South of England of binding. Out of print, but you can get an electronic copy from TCV - see here

Burton, Robert Nature by the Roadside
EP Publishing 1977
115 pages
Small section on hedges.
Dowdeswell, W.H. Hedgerows and Verges
Allen & Unwin 1987
190 pages
Authoritative and fascinating academic study.
Feltwell, John A Guide to Countryside Conservation - Britain's Rural Heritage
WI Books 1989, 160 pages
Includes a chapter on hedgerows. 
Greaves, Valerie Hedgelaying Explained 
National Hedgelaying Society 
74 pages
Good practical guide.  Very inexpensive.  Gives more detail than BTCV on different hedging styles.
Hart, Edward Hedge Laying and Fencing
Thorsons 1981
128 pages
A practical guide for the smallholder.  Covers hedgelaying in some detail, also chapters on planting, fencing and walling
Hennell, Thomas The Countryman at Work
Architectural Press 1947
80 pages
Originally a series of articles in The Architectural Review.  Mainly notable for the author's illustrations.  Short chapters on hedging, hurdle making and the woodman.
Lee, Brian Fields & Hedgerows - A Nature Guide
Crowood Press 1985, 128 pages
Emphasis is on flora and fauna throughout.
Le Sueur, A.D.C Hedges, Shelterbelts and Screens
Country Life 1951
128 pages
Good chapter on agricultural hedges including description of hedgelaying.  Particularly useful on shelterbelts which are little covered elsewhere in this detail. 
Out of print and difficult to find!
Morley, Margaret and Ken The Great Upheaval - An Account of the Enclosure of Wingrave and Rowsham in 1798
Bucks Print, Aylesbury 1994
62 pages
Fascinating account of a single enclosure act and its impact on a community.
Maclean, Murray New Hedges for the Countryside 
Farming Press 1992
276 pages
A comprehensive modern guide, concentrating, as you would expect, on hedge propagation, planting and aftercare.
Martin, George A. Fences, Gates and Bridges  - A Practical Guide
Stephen Greene Press 1974
191 pages
Reprint of this 1887 publication from the USA surprises with a small section on hedges and hedgelaying and advice on suitable hedging plants for the US.
Pollard, Hooper & Moore,  Hedges
Collins New Naturalist 1974
256 pages
Indispensable but out of print. If you read only one book about hedges, this should be it!
Rackham, Oliver The History of the Countryside 
Dent & Sons 1986
445 pages
Marvellous, massive and very readable with an excellent section on hedges.
Rackham, Oliver The Illustrated History of the Countryside 
Weidenfeld & Nicholson 1994
240 pages
Beautifully illustrated. Good section on hedges.
Showell, Romola Hedges, Walls and Boundaries
Dryad Press 1986
48 pages
An introduction for children covering walls as well as hedges
Stowe, E.J. Crafts of the Countryside
Longmans 1948
128 pages
Short chapter on hedging.  Other chapters cover dry stone walling and hurdle making
Streeter, D and Richardson, R Discovering Hedgerows
BBC 1982
160 pages
Concentrates on flora and fauna.  Follows two hedges month by month through the season.  Nicely illustrated.
Thomas, Eric & White, John T Hedgerow
Dorling Kindersley 1982
46 pages
Simple text, beautiful colour illustrations.  Suitable for children.
Wilson, Ron The Hedgerow Book
David & Charles 1979
204 pages
Concentrates on hedgerow plants and animals.
Wright, John

A Natural History of the Hedgerow and ditches, dykes and dry stone walls

Profile Books, 2016

376 page

An excellent book. Very good coverage of field systems from the very earliest times. The author is a naturalist and expert on fungi. Includes a lot of information about species that depend on particular hedge plants and lots about insects and the tell-tale signs they leave behind on shrubs and herb species found in hedges. Includes good colour photographs throughout.
Young, Arthur General View of the Agriculture of the County of Hertforshire (1804)
David & Charles Reprints 1971
236 pages
An invaluabe and fascinating study of the rural economy of Hertfordshire in the early 19th century.  Arthur Young covers hedgelaying in some detail over 10 pages in this book, including a series of plates and to my surprise and probably that of many others today remarks that "Hertfordshire may be considered as the county where the plashing system is carried on to the greatest extent: it has been universally practised here since time immemorial". He then gives his reasoning for this and goes onto to explain what is particular to Hertfordshire hedges in particular, making comparisons with Leicestershire, Suffolk. Since Arthur Young also produced the companion volumes for Lincolnshire, Oxford, Norfolk, Suffolk and Sussex, he clearly got about a bit.