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The humble hedgerow is integral to garden city design


A boundary formed by closely growing plants - commonly known as a hedge - is such an intrinsic part of the design, layout and character of one of the original garden cities, Welwyn Garden City, that it is afforded additional protection under the Welwyn Garden City Estates Management Scheme for any new or proposed development. Hedges are normally only protected under the The Hedgerows Regulations 1997 but this extra layer of protection ensures the protection of trees, hedges and the garden city concept. This applies to only two areas in the UK, the other area being Letchworth.

It’s because the Garden City Concept developed by Victorian visionary, Ebenezer Howard, is all about the “marriage of town and country”. Landscaping is as important as the layout and architecture in the overall design of a garden city so hedges, trees and grass verges play an important part in the design concept.

Today, we also appreciate how hedgerows help wildlife to flourish and the greenery they provide is important for general health and well-being. Their inclusion will and should be part of the principles used when developing ‘Garden Cities’ of the future.

“Whilst hedges can restrict the size and sometimes the density or viability of projects, I feel it is important to incorporate hedges and trees within these new developments. They are not always recognised for the positive impact they have on how we live, but I firmly believe that hedges and well considered landscape will help ensure the continuing success of Howard’s vision for the ‘Garden Cities of Tomorrow’.” Martin Williams, Director, Saunders.

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