The Invention of pig netting has been the downfall of the hedge. It may be difficult to believe but up to 50 years ago all hedges were cut by hand - “pletched” - annually to maintain the vigour of the stock proof fence. This culminated in hundreds of years of experience perfecting the art of weaving live wood around stakes in the ground to create a natural secure boundary.
There is a place not far from here called Wolfshead, the location where (it is beleived) the last wolf in England was killed. Prior to that valuable farm animals had to be enclosed every night and watched by day.
Shropshire’s first poet Piers Plowman wrote in his epic poem about wolves and sheep (the same sheep that created medieval wealth)
n.b. by Ian Steele: this was the same sheep from whom wool drove empire (trade) and the industrial revolution (mechanised weaving) as surely as ships timbers and coal.
Hurdles made from hazel woven between stakes morphed into permanent stakes hammered into the ground to create palisades. Birds would sit on these stakes and over time, from their droppings, native bushes such as holly and thorns grew which where used to fill the gaps - and the rest is history!