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Public-images-osm logo.svg barrier = hedge
Daniel Fuchs.CC-BY-SA.Morus nigra.Hedge.jpg
A line of closely spaced shrubs and tree species, which form a barrier or mark the boundary of an area. Edit this description in the wiki page. Edit this description in the data item.
Rendering in OSM Carto
Barrier hedge.png
Group: barriers
Used on these elements
should not be used on nodesmay be used on waysmay be used on areas (and multipolygon relations)should not be used on relations (except multipolygon relations)
Useful combination
See also
Status: approvedPage for proposal

barrier=hedge is used to identify a line of closely spaced shrubs and tree species, which form a barrier or mark the boundary of an area. Hedges may be actively managed, but this is not always the case.

For an area of maintained shrubs use natural=shrubbery. For unmaintainded shrubs use natural=scrub.


Large Hedges or Field and Road Boundaries

Large, Mature, Multi-Species Hedge

Hedges are most notable at a landscape level when they create field, road, and large property boundaries.

These hedges commonly contain many species, many of which have self seeded within the hedge.

Although there is a major difference between a small single-species garden hedge and a massive multi-species field boundary hedge, they are currently both mapped as Hedges.

They are commonly only managed to maintain the function as a barrier. Some of these type of hedges have become poorly managed in recent decades with landowners repairing gaps in hedges with barbed wire.

They can be centuries old and have legal protection.

Small Hedges and Urban or Garden Hedges

Small, Single-Species Hedge

Much smaller formal hedges can also be used in areas such as parks and gardens.

These hedges commonly consist of a single species. Maintenance commonly goes beyond simply maintaining the barrier function, but also includes maintenance for making the hedge visually appealing.

How to map


Create a line along the length of the hedge. Where a hedge joins another hedge use a shared node. If there are substantial gaps in the hedge then end that line, leave a gap and create a new way for the next section. If there is a fence adjacent to the hedge to make it stock proof, it is preferable to map the hedge if only one barrier is to be mapped.

Mark a gate or stile in the hedge by creating a node on the way at the appropriate location and tagging it with barrier=gate or barrier=stile or similar. For a short gap consider using an entrance=* node. Mark lone trees using natural=tree.

If the vegetation is too wide to be called a hedge or if, for some other reason, it would be better mapped as an area, consider natural=shrubbery or natural=scrub. Avoid tagging as barrier=hedge+area=yes, as this can be ambiguously interpreted as an area surrounded by hedges (similarly to how barrier=fence is often used to tag fenced in areas).

The width=* and height=* tags can also be used. Some people also tag the hedge with genus=*, species=* or taxon=*.

Where hedges meet and an area of woodland has formed, common in the corners of fields, map the line of the hedge, and also map the small area of woodland using natural=wood.

Possible Tagging Mistake

If you know places with this tag, verify if it could be tagged with another tag.
Automated edits are strongly discouraged unless you really know what you are doing!

See also