Holly & hornbeam mature hedge
Hedges Help Combat City Air Pollution

Cities need to ‘green up’ to reduce the impact of air pollution

The study is a collaborative effort by partners from the UK, Europe and USA, led by the Professor Kumar under the umbrella of H2020 funded project, iSCAPE: Improving Smart Control of Air Pollution in Europe.

The report findings include that the harmful impact of urban air pollution could be combated by strategically placing low hedges along roads in a built-up city environments. Hedges are often better than trees at soaking up air pollution among tall buildings, as they can trap toxins at exhaust pipe level, so reduce people’s direct exposure to harmful pollutants.car exhaust air pollution

Green Infrastructure

Professor Kumar, who is Chair in Air Quality & Health at the University of Surrey, said future urban planning need to consider designing and implementing more green infrastructure, such as trees and hedges in the built environment to create a healthier urban lifestyle.

Taller trees have more of an impact in reducing air pollution in areas which are more open and are less densely populated by taller buildings.

Further Research

Professor Kumar concluded: “Under the framework of the iSCAPE project, we are currently performing targeted field investigations to quantify the effects of different types of green barriers along the busy open-road sides. This will help to develop evidence-based guidelines to support future urban planning and the public to make informed choices to “green up” their surrounding environments.”

The BBC’s environment analyst, Roger Harrabin reported on the study on the Corporation’s science news webpages.bbc science report air pollution

Practicality Brown have a number of hedging solutions that will work in urban environments – call us on 01753 652022 – or complete our contact form.


Hedges successfully transplanted
Woodland Translocation

Woodland, Hedgerow and Tree Translocation

Practicality Brown has extensive experience of large scale woodland and hedgerow translocation and tree transplanting.

Woodland translocation: Hedges reduced for transplanting

Hedges reduced for transplanting

Woodland translocation: Low ground pressure machinery to transport woodland components

Low ground pressure machinery working in woodland

Woodland translocation: Optimal Tree Spade moving individual trees

Optimal Tree Spade moving individual trees

Woodland Translocation

Woodland translocation is carried out according to age and likelihood of re-establishment. The most common method involves coppicing of larger trees followed by stump translocation then woodland soil incorporating all mycorrhizal and seed/bulb bank. Care is taken to minimize ground impact, relocate soil horizons and habitat features. Occasionally smaller flora is individually containerized and transplanted according to best horticultural practice.

Hedgerow Translocation

Hedgerow Translocation is carried out according to age and species of hedge and the method best suited to acceptable level of re-establishment on the receptor site. Typically the hedgerow is coppiced, followed by transplanting using either a tree spade machine or by adapted excavator attachments. Successful translocation depends on good aftercare.

 Tree Transplanting

Individual tree moving involves complete tree and root ball translocation using a purpose built vehicle-mounted tree spade. Trees are moved individually from receptor to donor locations one at a time from receptor to donor locations.

Practicality Brown Experience

Practicality Brown is experienced in both woodland assessments, surveying for translocation and carrying out the works.  Any translocation work requires planning, management, operational expertise and aftercare; we have the experience and capabilities, having transplanted over 500,000 root ball stock over three decades.

Woodland Translocation Experience includes Channel Tunnel Rail Link (HS1), where extensive areas of coppice woodland were transplanted and road building projects such as A46 Widmerpool to Newark completed in 2012 where over 3km of hedge and 3ha was successfully translocated.

Translocation uses skills from across the company; our tree nursery staff have the horticultural knowledge, whilst our tree clearance division provides the management and innovation required to make it happen

Alastair Beddall, Managing Director, Practicality Brown


For more details, please contact Alastair Beddall or Phil Miller on 01753 652022

Luton Dunstable Busway
Luton Dunstable Busway – Vegetation Clearance

Luton Dunstable Busway – Vegetation Clearance

Practicality Brown carried out a vegetation clearance programme on the Luton Dunstable busway for main contractor, Bam Nuttall on behalf of Luton Borough Council. The site was a 12km section of disused railway comprising of both trees and scrub, running adjacent to live roads and railway from the centre of Dunstable to the opposite side of Luton. Traffic and Pedestrian Management was necessary in order to clear vegetation from the nine rail over bridges along the route, all of which intersect with busy live roads. The scheme provides a state of the art guided bus connection between Luton and Dunstable.

The contract had various constraints, including a condensed programme. As well as mechanised vegetation clearance, we provided ecology advice and sensitive management with Badgers, Bats, Slow Worms, Nesting Birds and important Flora.