Irish Hedgerows

Shouldn't we conserve our amazing lush hedgerows?

Feeding on Knapweed
Foxglove Lane
Purple Loosestrife & Meadowsweet
Foxglove Lane
Wild roses
Foxglove Lane
Foxglove Lane
Foxglove Lane
Wild Fuschia or 'Tears of Odin'
Foxglove Lane
Ladybird on Selfheal
Foxglove Lane

Hedgerows are now in decline

I have been photographing wild Irish hedgerows for many years, mainly in the south east and west. There are differences in the types of planting and design from place to place but there is no doubt overall that in many areas the lush hedgerows are now in decline. Swathes of intensive farming or roadside trimming have done away with some of Ireland’s greatest everyday treasures

Crammed with the wild & the beautiful

Ballyferriter on the Dingle Peninsula in County Kerry has the benefit of the Gulf Stream, Atlantic soft rains and a relatively under developed and inaccessible landscape. I go there every summer and it is a magical place with mountains, beaches and lovely villages. No wonder Kerry people simply call it “the Kingdom” 

Ballyferriter has an abundance of traditional hedgerows which are crammed with the wild and the beautiful. Huge bouquets of Purple Loosestrife and Meadowsweet, Fuschia bushes laden with flowers falling over swathes of golden Monbretia and wild Roses wrapped up with garlands of pink bramble blossoms. Drunken bumblers and greedy honey bees are stuck into the rich pollen and some have speckles of it all over them

Who is taking care of these natural gardens?

There are so many plants like huge garden borders that even the nettles and docks don’t take over. Instead they are part of the meandering whole, in balance and in moderation.

Shouldn’t the remaining ones be preserved?

I often wonder who is taking care of the long term sustainability of these natural gardens? Are hedgerows recognised as needing our protection, who controls roadside pesticides, who decides on new fences and building development along these routes? Seeing the holiday-makers wander the roads of Kerry all summer long, revelling in the colours and scents of the wild flowers I again thought how much the ordinary people love our Irish hedgerows, shouldn’t the remaining ones be preserved?


Visit Foxglove Lane’s blog for more thoughts and photographs of Ireland’s natural landscape



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