The Yellow-Lighted Bookshop

Hedgelands, A Wild Wander Around Britain’s Greatest Habitat, Christopher Hart

In this joyous journey around the wild edges of Britain, Christopher Hart takes us through the life, ecology and history of the humble British hedge, showing us how this much-loved (but somewhat overlooked) feature is inextricably woven into our language, history and culture.

Hedges – or hedgerows – have long been an integral part of the British landscape; a bastion of privacy for our gardens, a protective presence on winding country lanes and a vital hiding place for birds and beasts on farmland.

This man-made marvel is finally getting its time in the sun. Recognised as an environmental hero and a powerful climate ally, hedgerow is now considered the greatest edge habitat on earth, offering thorny scrub, mature woodland, grassland and even wetland. It plays a critical role in carbon sequestration and provides essential protection against the elements.

Hedgelands highlights the hawthorn and hazel of ancient hedges; the abundance of wildlife, from the elusive dunnock to the striking nightingale, the industrious hedgehog to the little harvest mouse; and the free pickings that the hedgerow offers, making it an essential – and delicious – element of any countryside ramble.

Hedgelands will tell you everything you never thought you needed to know about this wild, diverse and rich habitat – and you might even look at your humble hedge in a whole new way.

‘A wonderful history of the threads that stitch the British countryside together.’ Jake Fiennes, author of Land Healer

‘A passionate celebration and exploration of our wonderful hedgerows. You’ll be swept along by Hart’s intoxicating enthusiasm.’ Dave Goulson, author of Silent Earth


Chelsea Green, 2024