There's a narrow belt of land - a couple of metres - between a path and our land about 50m long and I'd like to grow a barrier. However since we're in woodland I would like it to be more natural - more of a thicket than a formal hedge - even if screening isn't perfect it will keep people on the path.
I was considering things like Holly and Beech as both grow wild here and keep their leaves, but the area is fairly shady and not wonderfully rich soil. Currently a few birch and willow trees are dotted along and are surviving though not thriving. Laurel is another obvious choice though not quite so authentic. I had considered laurel/holly a nice mix as it's evergreen, provides great screening AND even before it provides a visual barrier the spiky leaves will deter anyone from walking right up to us!
What will grow in a shady environment though in the UK? Is there something I've missed?