There are certain occasions where a fast-growing plant is required for hedging to quickly cover or camouflage an area and others where slow growing plants are a must for low border hedges but generally speaking plants with a steady medium growth of around 30cm per year are preferable for the average gardener to keep trimmed well.
As an informal hedge Deutzia Scabra is a very pretty summer flowering shrub, easy to grow and maintain, whereas at the other end of the spectrum for prickly hedging to deter intruders there is Berberis both Green and Purple and Blackthorn with its early spring flowers and later the sloe berries. For evergreen hedging two of the larger leaved Laurels, Cherry or Common Laurel and Laurel Caucasica are perfect for giving good dense cover but not growing at too fast a rate.
There are several semi-evergreen plants with medium growth rate which most of the time will retain their foliage through the winter losing them only to very harsh winter conditions but regenerating the leaves very quickly in spring. Plants such as Hypericum Hidcote, Cotoneaster Simonsii and Green, Golden and Wild Privet would all fall into this category. Other plants quite often found in a Native Hedgerow to attract wildlife, such as Guelder Rose, Buckthorn Alder and Buckthorn Common, Cherry Bird and Crabapple Wild would also be eminently suitable if a moderate rate of growth is required. For more flowering varieties look no further than Flowering currant, Wayfaring Tree and the more moderately growing Scotch Rose as most of the other hedging Rose varieties would romp away.