This hedge is largely made up of elm.  Since Dutch Elm Disease hit the UK over 40 years ago, many mature elms have died, and been felled.  It changed the landscape of England dramatically.  However, in this hedge, elm persists; fresh seedlings are constantly being produced within it.

As the elms in the hedge age and get to a certain thickness, cracks form in the trunks which the Dutch Elm beetle carrying the fungus can access.

Once there, the tree becomes infected with the fungus and dies.  This looks untidy but opens space for more young elm to colonise.  This cycle has been going on in this hedgerow since the 1970’s.

Elm hedges are good habitat for butterflies especially the scarce White-letter Hairstreak, as well as being a good nest site for whitethroats.  In winter, kingfishers perch at the side of the hedge, looking to catch sticklebacks in the ditch.