Planting A New Hedgerow

Site suitability

Planting new Hedgerow action is not permitted on NPWS Designated sites (SACs, SPAs, NHAs, pNHAs), Breeding Wader Hotspots, and within archaeological monument buffer zones. Ensure the site is suitable for hedgerow establishment. Whitethorn and holly do not tolerate very wet soils and whitethorn will not thrive at high elevations. Blackthorn is more suited to heavy soils and for coastal exposed sites. Take note of what hedge and tree species are thriving in hedgerows in the locality. If planting a hedgerow to help reduce overland flow, ensure the hedgerow will not be flooded or become overwhelmed in heavy rain events. Planting further up a slope or on a slightly raised bund may be an option to consider.

Note: Where a fence has been grant aided under TAMS II or any DAFM Capital investment Scheme from 01 January 2018, this fence cannot fulfil the fencing requirement for Planting a new Hedgerow.

Actions that can be selected on the same LPIS or split of parcel are:

Barn Owl nest box, Coppicing of hedgerows, Grass margins – arable, Grass margins – grassland, Laying of hedgerows, Planting a traditional orchard, Protection and maintenance of archaeological monuments – arable, Protection and maintenance of archaeological monuments – grassland, Riparian buffer strip – arable, Riparian buffer strip – grassland, Ryegrass seed set as winter food for birds, Traditional dry stone wall maintenance, Tree planting, Unharvested cereal headlands, Winter bird food strip.


  1. Plant a minimum continuous length of 10 metres of new hedgerow by 31 March 2024.
  2. The location and length must be identified on the LPIS parcels and marked on the map submitted. The new hedge must not be placed against an existing hedgerow or stone wall or under the shade of a treeline/woodland.
  3. The new hedge must consist of at least 5 plants per metre in a double staggered row with a mix of at least 3 species from the Hedgerow species (Table 1. below). No one species must make up more than 70% of the total.
  4. Plants must be of Irish Origin or Irish Provenance and purchased from DAFM registered professional operators.
  5. All plants purchased for this action must have an accompanying plant passport and participants must ensure that they retain the plant passport(s) for the duration of the contract.
  6. All newly planted hedgerows in a grass or tillage field must be protected from livestock with an appropriate permanent fence. This fence may need to be moved out further as the hedgerow grows and expands.
  7. Grass and other competing vegetation must be controlled around the plants annually to aid establishment.
  8. Failed or dead plants must be replaced in the following planting season.

Additional Guidance

  • Plant native species that already grow in the local area. Plants should be of native provenance where possible.
  • Plant one tree at least every 50m from the Tree species (Table 2. below) and let mature without cutting. Alternatively, leave a hedgerow species (Table 1. below) mature into a tree every 50 metres. These should be protected with a tree guard or shelter.
  • Prepare the ground along a 1.5m wide strip to provide good soil conditions and as little competition from other vegetation as possible.
  • Take care of roots before planting by keeping them always covered, especially when it is sunny or windy avoiding opening more than one bag of plants at a time.
  • If you want a hedgerow with a wide base that will always be managed by topping, prune thorn species (except holly) down to 2 to 3 cm with a sloping cut to leave a sharp point. In subsequent years, carry out a second pruning after the first growing season. This should be done when the plants are dormant during the winter period. Repeat the process again after the second growing season by cutting each of the stems (except holly) back down approximately 3 cm above the previous cut. This will help achieve a dense bushy growth at the base. Compostable film or plastic will be essential for controlling competing vegetation in nutrient rich areas.

Table 1 – Hedgerow species for planting

Blackthorn (Prunus spinosa)
Dog Rose (Rosa canina)
Guelder Rose (Viburnum opulus)
Hawthorn/Whitethorn (Crataegus monogyna)
Hazel (Corylus avellana)
Holly (Ilex aquifolium)
Spindle (Euonymous europaeus)
Alder Buckthorn (Frangula alnus)


Table 2 – Tree Species (0.6 -0.9 metres high)

Bird Cherry (Prunus padus)
Crab Apple (Malus sylvestris) If possible, Mc Griggors (Crab) Cavan Sweet (Crab) Lough Key (Crab)
Goat Willow (Salix caprea)
Grey Willow (Salix cinerea)
Rowan (Sorbus aucuparia)
Wild Cherry (Prunus avium)
Hawthorn/Whitethorn (Crataegus monogyna)
Irish Whitebeam (Sorbis Hibernia)
Sessile oak (Quercus petraea)
Pedunculate oak (Quercus robur)