Ideas For The Classroom Teacher

This page is based on the curriculum in 2010 and aims to give teachers some ideas on how they can use hedgerows to support their teaching of the formal curriculum. For more activity ideas please do see the 'healthy lifestyles' pages and 'involving the community' pages. This is not exhaustive but aims to titillate and inspire innovative and fun learning experiences.

Science

Geography
History
Citizenship and PSHE
English
Maths
Art and design and technology
ICT
Modern languages
Music
Religious eduation
PE
Cross curricular dimensions

 

Science

Hedgerows can support a variety of areas of the science curriculum, here are some activity ideas.

Use your school grounds and local hedges for field work:

  • hedges can be studied in terms of variation and classification, environment and feeding relationships, comparative habitats, plants and photosynthesis. Don’t forget the opportunity to investigate the environmental limiting factors such as wind forces, water, sunlight, temperature
  • you could study the impact of conditions such as soil type and air pollution or varying management techniques
  • by keeping records of growing conditions, changes in the harvest and growth can be used to illustrate possible implications of climate change
  • by studying the pollinating insects you can look at respiration adaptations and compare these with other animals. Often these insects will have part of their lifecycle in water where further adaptations are needed (this is a good link to your school pond).

Student participation in planting and managing the hedges:

  • this can be used to illustrate the role of the water cycle and impact of water in different states e.g. frost damage and over watering
  • pupils taking part in management will also see the effect of managing hedgerows and how this changes their growth
  • environmental management
  • why not use our debating activity sheets to discuss some of the issues surrounding the management of hedgerows in the countryside.

Harvesting food from hedgerows:

  • hedgerow harvests can be a great way of illustrating how food is grouped, how it helps our growth and development and how it enables us to stay fit and healthy. Students can experience the different food groups and look at how they contribute to their diet
  • when cooking these foods, their composition changes can be studied and any leftover food can be used to study the role that microbes and fungi play in decomposition. You might choose to do this under lab conditions or through the use of a compost heap.

Cooking food from your hedgerow:

  • a sunken fire pit is just one example of outdoor cooking which can give an ideal opportunity to discuss a range of scientific concepts. Cooking on the BBQ or even a Morrocan BBQ can use produce from hedgerows and growing areas in the school and provide opportunities for discussion and illustrations of: food and digestion, simple chemical changes, particle models and how to stay fit and healthy. For a few recipe ideas please see our activity sheet Hedgerow recipes. Hounsdown Secondary School in Hampshire have successfully used their Moroccan BBQ for a number of years and have recently dug version number two
  • the wood to fuel the outdoor cooking could also be harvested from the hedgerow and students could see how this burns, offering opportunities for discussions around renewable and non-renewable energy and possibly the impact of food miles in food production.

The chemistry of hedgerow drugs

Historically herbalists have gathered many drugs from the hedgerow and prepared these through drying, boiling and condensing – these processes are a great way of illustrating chemical changes, you may find the following reading on Victorian medicine interesting:

  • Science and the Practice of Medicine in the Nineteenth Century by WF Bynum (Cambridge, 1994)
  • A Social History of Medicine by FF Cartwright (Longman, 1977)
  • The Epidemic Streets by Anne Hardy (Clarendon, 1993)
  • 'The Victorian Vision', article by Jan Marsh (Victoria and Albert Museum, 2001)

More information

There is also more information about medicinal plants on our healthy lifestyles page
See our activity sheet - Hedgerow recipes
See our activity sheet - Food identification
www.britishecologicalsociety.org/educational

British Ecological Society are going to be releasing a wall chart on Hedgerow Science www.ase.org.uk/htm/teacher_zone/outdoor_science/outdoor_science.php
Association of Science Education for a range of outdoor science opportunities and case-studies of good practice in field work
www.ase.org.uk/htm/members_area/journals/ssr/ssr_march-06/biology-99-106.pdf
For Improving school grounds projects and for fieldwork recording and datalogging
www.wildknowledge.co.uk
www.digitalexplorer.com/for-expeditions

Geography

Hedgerows are a great way to physically get out and do some fieldwork near to the school. They offer opportunities to explore the local environment.

Place and space
Hedges have for a long time been used to mark boundaries and can often be mapped in your school grounds and the surrounding area. In rural areas this is more obvious and often fieldwork can involve walking field margins, with permission from the landowner.

In urban areas this can be more difficult, start with looking at your own site and see if the hedges can tell the students more about the history of the site – get the students to map local housing and look at the plants that have been grown on peoples boundaries - do they give further clues to what may have been there before?

Things they might be looking for include:

  • what species is the hedge?
  • is it species ‘rich’ or ‘poor’ (has more than 5 woody species)? See our ‘value to wildlife’ worksheet for an outdoor lesson
  • what is it used for now? See our ‘planting a hedge in your school grounds’ worksheet for a list of uses
  • what might it have been used for this past?
  • has it been laid (cut and laid down to encourage thicker growth at the base)?

Other clues to look for include:

  • a tall line of lime trees which may signify an entrance driveway
  • a line of poplar trees which were used as a wind barrier to fruit or salad crops
  • a beech or leylandii hedge used around a house to provide protection to a private garden
  • a thick thorny hedge to keep people out or livestock in.

Inter-dependence, sustainable development and cultural understanding and diversity
Hedges are a great resource to illustrate environmental, social diversity and their interaction. Why not use our debating activity sheet - A hedge user speaks!, to explore the different points of views on hedgerow management? These activity sheets are easily printable to enable students to explore their own opinions and consider those of others who live and work with hedges.

Students can look at the opinions of:

  • dog walkers
  • foragers
  • horse riders
  • gamekeepers
  • farmers
  • Tree Wardens
  • house owners
  • maintenance contractors
  • teenagers who make dens and tree houses

By using the opinions on the activity sheets pupils organise a timeline of the preferable times to cut hedges. They may also want to problem-solve together how hedges should be cut.

More information

See our activity sheet - Boundary mapping
See our activity sheet - A hedge user speaks!
The geographical association have a teacher CPD unit on global food which leads you to a huge range of lesson resources which could be complimented by hedgerow harvests as a practical support to aid discussion.
www.geography.org.uk/cpdevents/onlinecpd/geographyoffood
Other local food projects may add food for thought
www.localfoodgrants.org/index.php/projects/current_projects?cid=46
For fieldwork recording and datalogging
www.wildknowledge.co.uk
www.digitalexplorer.com/for-expeditions

History

A sense of place - hedges in history
Hedges have for centuries played a crucial role in our English Landscape. The next section is not a comprehensive history but gives you interesting facts to wow and intrigue:

Saxons (410-1060’s) used hawthorn to mark their boundry; they knew this plant by many names including: hagbush, aglet, heg-peg, hipperty haw, scrog, shaggy.
The Saxon word for a settlement surrounded by hawthorn was often called: Haigh, Hayes, Hawley and Haughley, names that can still be seen in our place names.
Why not investigate local place names?

Normans (1060’s – 1150’s) liked to cut their hedges to enable the horse and hounds to jump them – a practice we still see today.
Normans introduced the rabbits for food who like to burrow into the base of the hedge causing the soil to be exposed and increasing the number of nettles that grow there..
Why not make your own nettle soup? See our activety sheet - Hedgerow recipes

In Medieval times (1150’s – 1470’s) feudalism was common and there was a movement of people from the towns to the countryside. Lords had many workers including hedgers who began to design hand tools to maintain the hedges.
During the black death of the 13th century:

  • wood was used to fumigate buildings
  • flowers and berries were used to warn off Pestilence
  • bittersweet, St. Johns wart and the juice of greater celandine were taken when fasting along with boiled ground ivy and dried cuckoo pint, which were thought to have a range of cleansing and calming properties
  • birch and elder were used to make crosses
  • horses were rubbed with roses, thyme, marjoram, sage and wormwood, to make them smell sweeter at a time when the smell of death was common place.

Later they became neglected although literature suggests that wildlife increased with fewer human predators.
For a fun resource to work on the black death why not use the Horrible Histories Measly Middle Ages by Terry Dreary (1996) Scholastic Press.

Tudors (1480’s- 1590’s) gathered white flowers from the hedgerow for the May festival but left the parasitic toothwort which was thought to grow from corpses. For this ceremony certain trees were used to symbolise particular meanings:

  • cherry, wild pear and crab apple for a fertile year
  • ash for grandeur
  • oak for independence
  • elm for dignity
  • hawthorn for hope

Traditionally the pretty May Queen and naughty Jack in the Green were smothered in greenery to symbolise the new season and paraded through the town. This tradition lives on through our Morris men today.
Why not invite Morris men to share a hedgerow harvest.

The 18th century Enclosures Act saw the planting of the smaller square fields we know today, although with less livestock and more arable farming many of these have since been ripped out to make way for bigger machinery.
The Enclosures Act saw many people landless but the hedges were seen as a common possession – although this is not the case today.
Peasants were often found playing and gathering from the new hedges, but “hedge breakers”, who were found damaging the hedge, could be served the severest penalty of death.
Why not bring the May Queen and Jack of the Green to life at celebration events in May?

For more information

The Morris Dancing Ring has more information on how to make contact with a local group www.themorrisring.org/tb/gb.html
To find out a range views towards todays hedges please use our debate activity sheet - A hedge user speaks!
For interesting facts on folklore and old British traditions why not visit www.strangebritain.co.uk
For signposts to other historical activity ideas visit www.commonground.org.uk
Teachernet gives links to key information for healthy schools www.teachernet.gov.uk/wholeschool/healthyliving

Citizenship/PSHE

Mental and physical well-being
For a range of curriculum links please see our healthy school pages, ideas include healthy eating, physical education and links to religious education.
Debating
Our debate on DEFRA’s current approach to managing hedges and local food production explores the different points of view towards hedge management.
It enables opportunities for discussion on:

  • actions that individuals, groups and organisations can take to influence decisions affecting communities and the environment
  • strategies for handling local and national disagreements and conflicts
  • the changing nature of UK society, including the diversity of ideas, beliefs, cultures, identities, traditions, perspectives and shared values
  • freedom of speech and diversity of views, the role of the media in informing and influencing public opinion and holding those in power to account.

You can find activity sheets with opinions - A Hedge user speaks!
The sheets are designed to be part of a small group or whole class discussion, where the students take on the opinions of their designated stakeholder.

Background information before you start - Who is who?

DEFRA
Defra is the UK government department responsible for policy and regulations on the environment, food and rural affairs. The current role of Defra is to protect the environment for future generations, make our economy more environmentally sustainable and improve our quality of life and well-being. They believe that much more needs to be done to support the farming industry, protect biodiversity and encourage sustainable food production.
http://ww2.defra.gov.uk/

Natural England

Natural England is an independent public body whose purpose is to protect and improve England’s natural environment and encourage people to enjoy and get involved in their surroundings. Their aim is to create a better natural environment that covers all of our urban, country and coastal landscapes, along with all of the animals, plants and other organisms that live with us.
www.naturalengland.org.uk/about_us

UK Biodiversity Action Plan group for hedgerows
This group is supported by a range of conservation and countryside organisations.
They strongly believe that traditional hedge-cutting, which has taken place once a year, is no longer needed. They now understand that more flowers and fruit are produced on hedges that have twigs over one year old. They also know that as the size of the hedge increases, so does the number of species found within it.
They have documented their recommendations in response to 18 common questions, which can be found here:
www.hedgelink.org.uk/files/NE%20HEDGECUTTING.pdf

More information

For discussions on legal and illegal trapping by gamekeepers (often along hedgerows)
www.defra.gov.uk/wildlife-pets/wildlife/management/pest-control/index.htm
What conservation and biodiversity means and why they are so important
www.defra.gov.uk/environment/biodiversity/index.htm
Other local food projects may add food for thought
www.localfoodgrants.org/index.php/projects/current_projects?cid=46
For tools to support improving school grounds projects
www.wildknowledge.co.uk
Software
www.digitalexplorer.com/for-expeditions

English

Why Hedges?
Using the outdoors as a resource for inspirational writing has always been a favourite. The outdoors offers a range of settings for story telling and drama but what can hedges offer in particular?

Shakespear

Shakespear regularly used the outdoors as a setting with over 30 scenes set outside. Including A Midsummers Nights Dream which was set in a woodland.

Why not let a hedge mature to enclose a performance space for drama?

Here are a few of his most famous quotes about plants you might find in a hedgerow:
Dog Rose in Romeo and Juliet, 1600:
JULIET:
'Tis but thy name that is my enemy;
Thou art thyself, though not a Montague.
What's Montague? it is nor hand, nor foot,
Nor arm, nor face, nor any other part
Belonging to a man. O, be some other name!
What's in a name? That which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet;
So Romeo would, were he not Romeo call'd,
Retain that dear perfection which he owes
Without that title. Romeo, doff thy name,
And for that name which is no part of thee
Take all myself.
Dog rose and conker of the horse chestnut In Sonnet 52
O! how much more doth beauty beauteous seem
By that sweet ornament which truth doth give.
The rose looks fair, but fairer we it deem
For that sweet odour, which doth in it live.
The canker blooms have full as deep a dye
As the perfumed tincture of the roses,
Hang on such thorns, and play as wantonly
When summer's breath their masked buds discloses:
But, for their virtue only is their show,
They live unwoo'd, and unrespected fade;
Die to themselves. Sweet roses do not so;
Of their sweet deaths are sweetest odours made:
And so of you, beauteous and lovely youth,
When that shall vade, my verse distills your truth.

Rose in Loves Labours Lost
"At Christmas I no more desire a rose
Than wish a snow in May's new-fangled shows;
But like of each thing that in season grows."
How could you use Roses to illustrate your work?
Getting students to taste what they are reading about is an unusual opportunity, but a great reinforcement mechanism. The fruits or hips of the dog rose may be consumed raw or cooked. They are often used to prepare jams and syrups. The seeds of the fruits are an excellent natural source of vitamin E and people often dry and pulverize them before mixing them with flour. In addition, the grounded seeds are also added with other foods and used as dietary supplements.
The leaves of dogrose are dried and used as a herbal tea, The pink or whitish petals of Rosa canina are also edible and may be consumed raw or cooked. While the petals have a pleasant flavour, the base of the petals may taste bitter and, hence, they need to be removed before eating. The petals are sometimes used to flavour jam too.
Nettles, hyssop and thyme in Othello’s  
The character Lago frequently uses metaphors of botanical origin.
“Our bodies are our gardens, to which our wills are gardeners; so that if we will plant nettles or sow lettuce, set hyssop and weed up thyme . . . the power and corrigible authority of this lies in our wills” (I.iii.317–322); “Though other things grow fair against the sun, / Yet fruits that blossom first will first be ripe” (II.iii.349–350); “And then, sir, would he gripe and wring my hand, / Cry ‘O sweet creature!’, then kiss me hard, / As if he plucked kisses up by the roots, / That grew upon my lips” (III.iii.425–428).

How could you use nettles to illustrate your work?
For a recipe to make nettle soup with students to reinforce the content of this passage see you activity sheet - Hedgerow recipes
Shakespeare may have been influenced by his son-in-law, John Hall, who was a doctor and herbalist. For more information on the history of drugs please see our healthy living pages.

Hedging your bets or hedge funds – where does this phrase come from?
Meaning of the phrase
To avoid committing oneself; to leave a means of retreat open.
Origin
Hedge has been used as a verb in English since at least the 16th century, with the meaning of 'equivocate; avoid commitment'. The verb 'to hedge' derives from the noun hedge, i.e. a fence made from a row of bushes or trees. To hedge a piece of land was to limit it in terms of size and that this gave rise to the 'secure, limited risk' meaning. Hedge funds, much in the news nowadays, take their name from their method of limiting, i.e. hedging, their risk.
Stocks and shares also originate from the use of sticks taken from hedgerows. In the 17th century, the tally that recorded a payment to the English Exchequer was a rough stick of about an inch in diameter, split along its length. One half, the stock, was given as a receipt to the person making the payment; the other half, the counterfoil, was kept by the Exchequer. Ownership of payments that were made jointly by a group were shared among the members of so-called joint stock companies, hence stocks and shares.

The origins of our language

The Carl Linnaeus, (1707-1778) developed the way that we use Latin names for plants today. It offers a way to communicate with other ecologists around the world.

Key words from the Latin names for common hedgerow plants which may help students include:

  • blackthorn Prunus vulgaris - Vulgaris meaning common, this species reproduces very easily making it more common
  • hazel Corylus avellena - avellena meaning to tear away. Look at the leaves serrated edge
  • dogwood Cornus sanguinea - Cornus meaning horn and Sanguine meaning “what blood, what family” - rip the leaf and it bleeds. You can see the string like veins and the bark is as red as blood
  • field maple Acer campestris -Acer meaning bitter, stinging, violent, sharp, keen, eager, severe, fierce and campestris meaning flat, even, level, a plain often found in fields and hedgerows in comparison with other varieties of maple
  • ash Fraxinus excelsior - Excelsior meaning elevations - referring to this fast growing species Ash is often one of the first of the bigger species to mature, is therefore known as an earlier successional tree.

Writing with a purpose - taking part in school grounds projects
Headgerow Harvest encourages pupils to get involved with changes in their school grounds, including planting new hedges. In turn these provide many writing opportunities including:

  • advertising and promoting writing newspaper and press releases (community involvement)
  • video diary of their school grounds for a variety of purposes like, greater appreciation, sense of place, monitoring and understanding change, informing decision making or expressing themselves
  • constructing and writing recipes
  • webpage content about outside spaces
  • historical text and language around references to plants and objects in nature.

For more information on starting your own hedgerow or foraging please see our webpage on hedgerows in your school grounds.

For more information

On the origin of different phrases
www.phrases.org.uk
To translate Latin names to English
www.translation-guide.com/free_online_translators.php?from=English&to=Latin

Maths

Applying mathematics - taking part in school grounds projects
Learning through Landscapes the national school grounds charity (www.ltl.org.uk) encourage pupils to get involved with changes in their school grounds, including planting new hedges. In turn these provide many problem solving opportunities:

  • problem solving during the planning and budgeting for planting a hedge e.g. if I want to plant 100m of hedges and I need a plant every 25cm how many plants will I need to buy?
  • measuring and angles in laying out and planting of the hedgerow e.g. using pegs and lines of string with giant whiteboard protractors/set squares get the students to mark out where the hedge might go
  • area on whole site maps e.g. on a map explore the current area that hedges currently take up and what the potential would be to increase this area given to hedges for wildlife and foraging.

Use the conservation statistics to explore graphic/physical representations:

  • in 1995 42% of British hedges, or about 154,000 km, are ancient and/or species-rich e.g. 5 or more woody species
  • a sample survey in 1990 estimated that about 33% of hedges are ‘species-rich’, giving a length of about 41,000 km. Thus the total UK resource of ancient and/or species-rich hedges is in the order of 190,000 km
  • based on 1978 and 1990 data, which found that 26% of all hedges in Britain were blackthorn dominant, 5% mixed hazel, 5% mixed hawthorn and 4% elm dominant
  • hedgerows can be home to over 600 plants, 1500 insects, 65 birds and 20 mammals. Hedgerows are a habitat for at least 47 species of conservation concern in the UK, including 13 globally threatened or rapidly declining ones
  • double row hedges have one plant every 30cm in 2 parallel rows
  • single row hedges have one plant every 25cm

For more information on planting your own hedgerow for foraging please see our webpage on hedgerows in your school grounds.

Ongoing opportunities:

  • weighing the harvest and comparing across years
  • measuring growth and studying trigonometry as a tool to measure the height of trees
  • problem solving with time through the hedge management/maintenance plans e.g. if the grounds staff need to spend 30mins cutting 30m of hedge (for example) how long will it take them to cut all the hedges in the school? If it costs the school £? for each hour maintenance staff are on site how much will it cost the school? If the school cut the hedges every other year, instead of every year, how much money would they save?

More information

The National Centre for excellence in the teaching of mathematics offers a range or support materials for teaching maths outside www.ncetm.org.uk/resources/9268
This teacher gives lots of ways to get younger children outdoors many of which could be adapted to older students www.leics.gov.uk/mathematics_outside.doc
This video on Teacher TV gives one example of the way outdoor trigonometry can be integrated into a lesson. Buildings could be replaced by hedgerow trees www.teachers.tv/videos/ks3-ks4-maths-motivating-maths-at-gcse-outdoor-trigonometry

Art and design & Design and technology

Hedges can supply a range of interesting materials for your lessons whether they are lessons on still-life, design or inspiration for shape, colour and texture. Here are some worth noting, separated by season:

Autumn
Hawthorn berries, elderberries, apples and hazel nuts offer opportunities for photography and still life work.

Why not look at the design of fruit gathering vessels and presentation dishes?

Winter
Offers bare branches with a huge range of bark/wood patterns and colours (particularly look for willow, dogwood, blackthorn and holly). You may also find old bird nests, to inspire the design of nest boxes and animal homes.

Winter might be the time of year to harvest some of this wood for whittling, bodging, making stakes and tree supports.   

This would be the time of year to harvest hazel sticks and make walking sticks for the Boundry mapping activity which is linked to the ancient tradition of beating the bounds of the parish in England.

It is also a good time of year to put up new nest boxes for the spring, cleaning out your old ones at the same time.

Winter offers the perfect opportunity to learn about the grain of different woods and how to identify wood that carpenters cut before the sap rises in the spring.

Spring
Hedges begin to come to life and the early cowslips and cuckoo flower are delicate examples of inspiration for outdoor art sessions. These flowers can often be linked to poetry, stories and herbal myths and facts - giving inspiration to exciting projects.

May is the time for a study of the May Queen and Jack of the Green that feature at the May Fair. They were dressed from head to toe in foliage and flowers taken from the hedges and offer images linked to fashion and celebration.

This is the time of year to harvest the hedgerow with care as they are often used by nesting birds and mammals.

Summer
Healthy hedges are brimming with insects and butterflies for photography and sketches.

For more information

Our activity sheet - Exploring the wildlife value of a hedgerow
Ideas for leaf actvities, autumn art projects
www.woodlandtrust.org.uk/en/learning

ICT

Here are a number of ways in which ICT can work with hedges to support education in a range of subjects:

  • data logging and handling whilst monitoring the soil condition and growth of hedges
  • internet research into hedge projects
  • spreadsheets to record, analyse and evaluate the diet that might be supported by hedgerow harvests
  • software simulations of the secondary metabolites found in hedgerow plants that have been used in the drug industry
  • publishing and presenting their projects around hedges
  • forage to fork videos of their hedge projects
  • weighing and measuring your harvest
  • word-processing recipes from the harvest
  • creating web pages which show the seasonal harvest from the hedgerow
  • creating a blog to share opinions on the new foods that they are trying and communicating/consulting on changes being made to their school grounds
  • digitally mapping the boundaries.

For more information

The Effective use of ICT in Science
www.ase.org.uk/htm/members_area/journals/ssr/ssr_june_pdf/pg53-60_effective.pdf
ICT in school grounds projects
Interesting software for recording and data logging www.wildknowledge.co.uk
Making your work go global and supporting sharing of information and best practice www.digitalexplorer.com/for-expeditions
A lesson plan on simple mapping software for geography www.geography.org.uk/cpdevents/onlinecpd/myplaceyourplaceourplace/specialpeoplespecialplaces

Modern languages

The Carl Linnaeus (1707-1778) developed the way that we use Latin names for plants today. This has bridged many gaps in understanding of the French language and offers a way to communicate with other ecologists around the world.

Key words from the Latin names for common hedgerow plants which may help students include:

  • blackthorn Prunus vulgaris - vulgaris meaning common. This species reproduces very easily making it more common
  • hazel Corylus avellena - avellena to tear away. Look at the leaves serrated edge
  • dogwood Cornus sanguinea - cornus horn and sanguine meaning  blood. Rip the leaf and it bleeds you can see the string like veins
  • field maple Acer campestris - acer bitter, stinging, violent, sharp, keen, eager, severe, fierce and campestris  flat, even, level, a plain often found in fields and hedgerows in comparison with other varieties of maple
  • ash Fraxinus excelsior - excelsior elevations, referring to this fast growing species which is often one of the first of the bigger species like oak.

Why not let the students see if they can find any other name translations and go outside to see how they link to the hedge? Obviously tasting these plants as they explore the language is a great way to reinforce what you are doing.

More information

A simple translation website
www.translation-guide.com/free_online_translators.php?from=English&to=Latin

Music

Beating the bounds
Please see our activity sheet - Boundary mapping which links to the Christian festival three days before the feast of Ascension. It illustrates one way that hedgerows can be used by both harvesting the wood from hazel growing in the hedge and by using it to beat the perimeter of the grounds. Metal fences make a great noise.

Stick and drum work
At Coombes Primary School in Arborfield, Berkshire the students use short and long sticks to beat out a range of rhythms. These can grow in complexity and eventually be added to a range of percussion instruments. Led as circle lessons they often take place whilst the students stand or sit in a circle on a hard surface in the school grounds. Coombes Primary School plant hedges and trees so they can regularly harvest the wood for music lessons.

More information

For information on wooden instruments from the UK please visit Edinburgh University’s website www.music.ed.ac.uk/euchmi/ugw/ugwf1a.html

Religious education

History of Christianity
Rogation, a Christian festival that takes place three days immediately before the Feast of the Ascension, involves traditional ceremonies that would have meant beating the hedges marking the boundaries of a parish. This festival involved the whole community and still takes place in a few communities today, it is thought that is was used as a way of making sure that the young people in the parish, stayed in the parish. They were shown where their boundary was and within that boundary they would be looked after by the parishioners. It offers the opportunity for a fun and practical illustration of the history of Christianity.

Food in ceremonies
Food is an important part of many religions. In Christianity the harvest festival has traditionally celebrated not only the harvest from the farmers' fields but also the harvest from the hedgerow. Hedges provide a practical activity where students can collect foliage and food from the hedgerow and use it in recipes. This can then compliment class based activities and trips to explore how food is used in other ceremonies from a variety of faiths.

Hedges as landscape features to support your teaching
Why not walk a section of the many hedgerows along the Pilgrims Way experiencing the foods that may have been available to pilgrims.

More information

See our activity sheet - Boundary mapping
See our activity sheet - Food identification
See our activity sheet - Hedgerow recipes

For information on traditions from multiple faiths look at the fact pages for each faith on this website you may even want to try the restaurants out www.faithandfood.com
For information about catering for a range of needs www.foodafactoflife.org.uk
For more information on beating the bound please go to www.strangebritain.co.uk/traditions/bounds

PE

Cross country running, walking and orienteering
Hedges can be used to create a range of running routes in a smaller space. They add variety to your route and often provide shelter from harsher weather conditions.

Practical conservation
Our healthy lifestyles page and community involvement page give valuable links to external organisations that may offer support in organising practical conservation tasks and encouraging healthy lifestyles through physical Green Gyms.

Food in hedgerows
When discussing diet why not use kinaesthetic experiences through harvesting from your hedgerow to illustrate fruit, vegetable and possibly nut groups.

Performance enhancing drugs
Borage from hedgerows has been used for centuries by warriors going into battle to make them more courageous. It is a great way to lead into discussions on life choices and what a performance enhancing drug might be.

More information

See our activity sheet - Food identification
To find out more about other drugs and their effect on the body please refer to our healthy living page.

Cross-curricular dimensions

Hedgerows offer an excellent resource to extend cross-curricular dimensions.

Through our healthy lifestyles pages you can find links to:

  • Identity and cultural diversity
  • Healthy lifestyles

Through our involving the community pages you can find further links to:

  • Community participation
  • Enterprise
  • Technology

Further information on technology and the media can be found on our ICT ideas for the classroom

Through our entire site we have tried to illustrate ways in which you can discuss issues around conservation and sustainable development through creativity and critical thinking.

For more information

Other local food lottery projects may also offer opportunities or case-studies for cross-curricular dimensions.
www.localfoodgrants.org/index.php/projects/current_projects?cid=46
Hedgelink have a range of other education materials and games linked to hedges www.hedgelink.org.uk/index.php?id=33
Fruit-full Schools www.fruitfullschools.org/index.php
The Royal Entomological Society www.royensoc.co.uk
The Game and Conservation Wildlife Trust www.gwct.org.uk
The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds www.rspb.org.uk
The Bat Conservation Trust www.bats.org.uk
The Mammal Society www.mammal.org.uk
Other local food projects may add food for thought www.localfoodgrants.org
This website has lots of ideas on using a natural harvest www.selfsufficientish.com
The Hedge Tree Handbook – The Tree Council
Hedge cutting: answers to 18 common questions – Natural England
Hedgerow trees: answers to 18 common questions leaflet (NE69) – Natural England

Activity sheets