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The farms were of about 5 to 10 hectares (12 to 25 acres), with fields about 0.1 hectares (0.25 acres) for hand cultivation.
Some hedges date from the Bronze and Iron Ages, 2000–4000 years ago, when traditional patterns of landscape became established.
Recent study by Emma Coulthard mentioned the possibility that hedgerows may act as guides for moths, like A. As moths are nocturnal, it is highly unlikely that they use visual aids as guides, but rather are following sensory or olfactory markers on the hedgerows.
Historically, hedges were used as a source of firewood, and for providing shelter from wind, rain and sun for crops, farm animals and people.
The root word of 'hedge' is much older: it appears in the Old English language, in German (Hecke), and Dutch (haag) to mean 'enclosure', as in the name of the Dutch city The Hague, or more formally 's Gravenhage, meaning The Count's hedge.
Charles the Bald is recorded as complaining in 864, at a time when most official fortifications were constructed of wooden palisades, that some unauthorized men were constructing haies et fertés – tightly interwoven hedges of hawthorns.
Trees should be left at no closer than 10 metres (33 ft) apart and the distances should vary so as to create a more natural landscape.
Formal, or modern garden hedges are grown in many varieties, including the following species: Hedgerow trees are trees that grow in hedgerows but have been allowed to reach their full height and width.Increasingly, they are valued too for the major role they have to play in preventing soil loss and reducing pollution, and for their potential to regulate water supply and to reduce flooding.In addition to maintaining the health of the environment, hedgerows also play a huge role in providing shelter for smaller animals like birds and insects.A hedge may consist of a single species or several, typically mixed at random.In many newly planted British hedges, at least 60 per cent of the shrubs are hawthorn, blackthorn, and (in the southwest) hazel, alone or in combination.