The many benefits of hedges.
Whether or not a lush hedge looks and feels more appealing than a wooden or tin fence is pretty much a no brainer ; ) But there is also a substantial body of research that supports the use of hedges in urban landscapes. And the quickest way to start enjoying these benefits is to install Living Walls instant hedges.
So if you’re interested in the technical bits, please read on. You’ll find references at the conclusion.
- Hedges help to reduce local wind speeds.
- Hedges help to reduce traffic noise, absorbing and deflecting sound.
- Hedges help reduce localised temperature extremes (The Urban Heat Island) by shading and converting liquid water to water vapour (evapotranspiration) which cools the air. 1
- Hedges help to improve air quality by reducing dust and particulates. 2,3,4
- Hedges can improve the environmental performance of buildings. They slow down winds, thereby reducing the amount of heat lost from homes, especially where conductivity is high (e.g., glass windows). 8
- Hedges increase biodiversity and provide food and shelter for wildlife. 9-13
- Hedges can increase infiltration and storage of rainwater through their root systems.
- Hedges can assist in land remediation and soil erosion.
- Hedges may have a positive impact on both physical & mental health and wellbeing. Green views and access to green spaces in cities help to relieve the everyday pressures of crowding and noise. Research shows that kids are better able to concentrate, complete tasks, and follow directions, after playing in natural settings. 14,15,16,19
- Hedges may have a positive impact on crime reduction. Residents living in ‘greener’ surroundings report lower levels of fear, fewer incivilities, and less violent behaviour. 17,18
- Hedgerows can benefit communities socially by instilling higher public esteem and pride in an area. 14,15,16
- Hedges are unlikely to be graffitied!
- Hedges improve the quality and perception of the urban environment.
- Hedges can provide security. ‘Prickly’ hedges provide a dense and natural barrier to unwanted guests.
- Hedges can provide soft screening and privacy.
- Hedges can have seasonal variations in colour, growth, flowers, and perfume which provide all-year-round interest.
- Hedges can provide fruit.
- Hedges and other plantings have the potential to increase residential and commercial property values by between 7% and 15%. 5,6,7
- Hedges help to create a positive perception for prospective purchasers of property. They soften new build houses and give immediate character and warmth.
- Hedges can improve the environmental performance of buildings and therefore the economic performance through reducing heating and cooling costs. 8
- Hedges provide screening and or barriers where fencing regulations may limit alternatives.
- Hedges may enhance the prospects of securing planning permission.
- Hedges may help to improve health in the urban population, thus reducing healthcare costs. 19
- Gill, SE., Handley, JF., Ennos, AR & Pauleit, S (2007) Adapting Cities for Climate change: the role of the green infrastructure. Built Environment 33 (1) pp 115-133
- Forest Research, Particulate Pollution 2007.
- Stewart H, Owen S, Donovan R, Mackenzie R, Hewitt N, Skiba U and Fowler D, (2003) Trees and Sustainable Urban Air Quality: Using Trees to Improve Air Quality in Cities, Lancaster University, Lancaster
- Broadmeadow MSJ and Freer-Smith PH (1996) Urban Woodland and the Benefits for Local Air Quality, Research for Amenity Trees No.5 HMSO, London.
- Anderson LM and Cordel HK (1988) Influence of Trees on Residential Property Values in Athens, Georgia: A Survey Based on Actual Sales Prices, Landscape and Urban Planning 15: 153-164.
- Morales DJ (1980) The Contribution of Trees to Residential Property Value: Journal of Arboriculture 6 (11):305-308.
- CABE Space (2005) Does money Grow on Trees? Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment, London
- Huang YJ, Akbari H, Taha H and Rosenfeld AH (1987) The Potential of Vegetation in Reducing Summer Cooling Loads in residential Buildings, Journal of Climate and Applied Meteorology 26 (9): 1103-1116.
- Kennedy CJ and Southwood TRE (1984) The Number of Species of Insect Associated with British Trees: A Re-analysis, Journal of Animal Ecology 53: 453-478.
- Fuller RJ (1995) Bird Life of Woodland and Forest, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge. Blackwell Scientific Publications Oxford.
- Stearns F (1972) The City as Habitat for Wildlife and Man, in Detwyler R and Marcus MG (eds) Urbanisation and Environment, Duxbury Press Belmont California.
- De Graaf RM and Wentworth JM (1986) Avian Guild Structure and Habitat Associations in Suburban Bird Communities, Urban Ecology 9: 399-412.
- Botkin DB and Beveridge CE (1997) Cities as Environments, Urban Ecosystems 1: 3-19.
- National Urban Forestry Unit (1999) Trees and Healthy Living, National Conference, Wolverhampton, UK, National Urban Forestry Unit, Wolverhampton.
- Mudrak LY (1982) In the Environmental Benefits of Vegetation at a Global, Local and Personal Level: A Review of the Literature, Green Releaf, Horticultural Trades Association and Royal Botanical Gardens, Kew.
- Ulrich RS, Simmons RF, Losito BD, Fiority E, Miles MA and Zeison M (1991) Stress Recovery During Exposure to Natural and Urban Environments, Journal of Environmental Psychology 11: 201-230.
- Moore EO (1981-82) A Prison Environment’s Effect on Health Care Demands Journal of Environmental Systems 11(1): 17-34.
- Kuo, F.E & Sullivan W.C (2001) Environment and Crime in the Inner City –does vegetation reduce crime. Environment and Behavior Vol. 33 No 3 pp 343-367
- MIND Ecotherapy (2018) https://www.mind.org.uk/information-support/tips-for-everyday-living/nature-and-mental-health/about-ecotherapy-programmes/