Blackthorn

Prunus spinosa

Native throughout the British Isles, it grows to around13ft (4m). It's white flowers appear from March onwards before it comes into leaf.

It forms a dense hedge - and can be quite invasive as it spreads by suckers. Many birds nest among its branches and it's fruit - sloe's- are made into jam wine and used for flavouring Gin.

Whilst it forms an excellent security hedge, care should be taken where young children are around as it produces strong thorns which can cause injury.