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What do I do about woody leylandii

I have a leylandii hedge at the bottom of the garden which backs onto a hazel hedge. There is approx. 5 feet between the two at one end and 2 feet at the other end. The space in between is pretty much empty with bare branches of leylandii spanning the space at the top and room for my dog to wander in between. 
I have been thinking of removing the leylandii or cutting it down lower to make more space in the garden, and replacing it with something more attractive and wildlife friendly. Ideally I would need something fairly dense because the neighbour's patio doors face ours directly and I do like my privacy. It is unlikely anything would grow so close to the hazel though isn't it? (The hazel is on the south side)
Alternatively is there any way to fill the space with something a little more useful than bare branches?
MY main concern is wildlife and I am happy for suggestions to make that area more welcoming.

Thank you


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  • hogweedhogweed Central ScotlandPosts: 4,050

    Will the hazel hedge not be enough to screen the neighbours? Too sparse, too low? Seems a waste to plant a hedge in front of a hedge............

    'Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement' - Helen Keller
  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 81,428

    Plant some honeysuckle and Dog roses (rosa canina) to weave in and out of the hazel and thicken it up.  That way you only need the one hedge and it'll be wonderful for wildlife image

    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh

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