Beech, Fagus sylvatica and Hornbeam, Carpinus betulus, are unrelated but very similar looking trees when they are grown as a hedge.
Hornbeam is the cheaper of the two, but you should also consider these points:
How to test your soil drainage:
Observe the bare soil after a period of heavy rain. If there are still puddles of rainwater on the surface of the earth where you are going to plant your hedge 12-24 hours after the rain has stopped, then the ground is probably too wet for beech.
If your soil is very wet
Although Hornbeam grows happily in much damper soil than beech, it won't grow in a real swamp or an area that is waterlogged in the winter. Dogwood, willow and Alder are all good choices for very wet soil.
Browse all of our Hedging Plants for Sale here.