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Fencing v Hedging – the pros and cons

fencing v hedging - the pros and cons

If you’re thinking of options to screen your garden, you’ll probably be familiar with the 2 most popular on the market – fencing and hedging.  In this article, we’ll look at the pros and cons of each of them.  But to begin with, you’ll need to consider the life span of your screening option and the amount of space that you want to screen off.



  • Fencing is undoubtedly your best bet for screening  in small garden areas.  Hedges will make an already small garden look even smaller. Fencing on the other hand, will open up the space.  And there is always the option of screening the fencing with climbing shrubs.
  • Fencing requires very little maintenance during the year as opposed to hedges that grow.  They need to be looked after obviously, to make sure they don’t break or rot  but unless you have a large amount of fencing, maintenance of it is pretty straight forward.
  • When you build a fence, you’ll instantly get privacy in your garden space, where you’ll be able to relax with friends and family immediately, in a safe environment.
  • Fencing offers a relatively good return on investment, especially in small spaces.  Good quality fencing material should last for many years with little upkeep if it’s put up properly.
  • If you’re erecting your fencing in a large space, you may need to check with the local Council that you’re allowed to do it.


  • Good quality fencing is more expensive than hedging plants – around 50% more expensive, so even though you’ll get a good return on your investment, your initial outlay in cash terms will be bigger.
  • Fencing is less eco-friendly than hedging plants and shrubs.  Fencing is manufactured, so there is a certain element of processing involved, which isn’t necessarily good for the environment.
  • If you have noisy neighbours, or reside on a busy street, don’t expect your fencing to block out the cacophony! It doesn’t contain properties to help filter out noise, and can even reflect sound back towards your house.
  • Depending on weather conditions and the quality of the footings of your fencing, there is a chance that it could be knocked down in strong blustery wind conditions.  It’s time consuming to repair a portion of fencing and very often, it needs a total replacement, depending on the damage.
  • The look and feel – let’s face it, fencing isn’t nearly as aesthetically pleasing as a beautifully, thick, living hedgerow!  Whatever colour you paint  your fence, it still remains fencing!   Even if you cover it with climbing shrubs, it won’t ever duplicate the beauty of a great looking hedge!



  •  Hedging is cheaper than fencing, and is the best choice if you have a large space to screen off.  Hedging is around 50% less expensive than fencing, and obviously it will become a living, growing investment for many years into the future.
  • Hedging is also home for many species of wildlife.  Wildlife including hedgehogs, invertebrates and birds are attracted to hedgerows as places to feed, nest and raise their young.  Many of the hedge types bear berries and fruits that are highly nutritious and form the staple diet for some of the wildlife that live there.
  • Screening your garden with Hedging can provide some shade – not only for wildlife but for us humans too!  Their branches and foliage cast shadows in the summer months ,which is very attractive to wildlife.
  • A good, dense hedge will also absorb noise and dust, and enhance your garden as a quiet, clean air space, to breathe in, relax and enjoy the serenity.
  • Hedges can also work as fantastic wind breaks too – the blustery winds in the winter months can be reduced by the wind breaking properties of a thick, tightly packed hedge. 
  • We are becoming more eco-friendly aware and it’s without question that hedges are by far, more environmentally friendly  and sustainable than fences.  They’re a natural product, and they protect the soil from erosion and are an important component of the eco-system. 
  • Did you know that hedging can actually improve the resale value of your home?  It can make your garden more inviting and can work with other structures as a backdrop to showcase other features in your outdoor space.


Depending on your local area, planting a hedgerow can sometimes require permission from the local Council.

  • Depending on the type and size of hedging you choose , it can take a good few years to achieve the height you want.  Patience and good maintenance is key when you decide to plant a new hedgerow!
  • Because hedges are living plants, they grow!  Consideration needs to taken If you’re planting your hedgerow near your house.   You’ll need to be aware that as it grows it could encroach on your home and will reduce the space around the outside of your home.
  • Hedges grow and can sometime because unruly, so it’s important to keep them in shape and looking good with regular maintenance.  If they’re kept under control with regular trimming you’ll reap the benefits for many years to come.  If they’re allowed to grow out of control for a few years, it’ll be a mammoth undertaking to get them back under control.

So there you have it!  Our fencing v hedging – the pros and cons.  We are readyhedgeltd.com – suppliers of ready spaced, ready to plant hedging varieties to contractors and the general public.  If you have any questions regarding hedging, please see our website www.readyhedgeltd.com or give us a call on 01386 750 585 – we’d be happy to help!