Smallholders Insurance from Greenlands

Author Topic: Hedge cutting - would sheep benefit ??  (Read 1462 times)


  • Joined Jul 2010
Hedge cutting - would sheep benefit ??
« on: August 29, 2010, 12:22:22 pm »

I have lurked on the forum for a few weeks reading posts and learning a lot, thank you.
I have taken over a small flock of 70 suffolk ewes and lambs when the tenant farmer who occupied a 12 acre piece of my land died.
Instead of watching the sheep across the hedge which I have done for 15 years I now have to do some work!!!

I have been advised that I should cut the thorn hedge which is about 20 foot (6m) high and overhangs into the field by about 3 or 4 foot (1m) because the overhang can cause the ground to have added problems, mites, tites and bugs it was described to me.
I would rather not do the cutting but if the overhang does cause added problems and then extra vet bills I would have no choice but to do so.

I would welcome your advice on the matter.



  • Joined Jun 2009
Re: Hedge cutting - would sheep benefit ??
« Reply #1 on: August 29, 2010, 12:57:38 pm »
Can't see any logic in this, other than sheep will tend to congregate under the shade during the summer months, or during heavy rain. If the hedge is shading out the grass underneath then better off laying it if it's got to that height. Is it fenced?


  • Joined Feb 2008
  • Near Bodmin, Cornwall
    • Val Grainger
Re: Hedge cutting - would sheep benefit ??
« Reply #2 on: August 29, 2010, 01:30:58 pm »
At that height the hedge should be laid, or if it is actually a row of trees by now coppiced to provide enough regrowth to lay in a few years time. Hawthorn or blackthorn hedges are fantastic habitat, provide shelter and a barrier. Sheep will happilly nibble them and shelter under/against them. I personally would not worry about the sheep having problems with the hedge but I would lay the hedge or get it laid by a professional as then the hrdge, the sheep and the biodiversity will all benefit.

Overall winner of the Devon Environmental Business Awards 2009


  • Joined Jun 2008
    • golocal food
    • Facebook
Re: Hedge cutting - would sheep benefit ??
« Reply #3 on: August 29, 2010, 07:14:51 pm »
one worry I have about hawthorn and blackthorn hedges is the broken branches and thorns getting into the sheeps feet. so I regularly remove fallen and low branches around the fences


  • Joined Jul 2010
Re: Hedge cutting - would sheep benefit ??
« Reply #4 on: August 30, 2010, 11:05:49 am »
Thank you to all that have replied.

From your replies it appears there is no support to the 'harbouring of bugs etc under the overhang'.

I am inclined to leave the hedge as it is as it forms an effectice wind break from a frequently harsh easterly wind.

Please send any other comments & suggestions you consider appropriate.

Once again thank you for your assistance.



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