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Laying hedges to control stock is an ancient tradition that is still used widely today. As well as being stockproof, a hedge can also provide valuable benefits to the landowner such as being an effective windbreak, a barrier to people, and a dense, continuous habitat for wildlife. Uniform growth is important in a stock proof hedge so there are no gaps to allow stock to pass through and so the hedge can be maintained and trimmed effectively. The species selected for a stock proof hedge should be able to withstand hard cutting, be unpalatable to stock, hardy to wind and frost, preferably fast-growing, adaptable to various soil conditions and long living.