To produce the definitive description of a Hedge Witch is likely beyond the power of any witch and it is certainly beyond the scope of this site. The best that can be hoped for is a breakdown of the common elements involved in the paths practised by individual Hedge Witches while keeping in mind that different witches will have their own take on what it is to define as a Hedge Witch.
Hedge Witchery is often confused with the path of the Green Witch and indeed there are some similarities between the two. Both are non ceremonial paths involving little in the way of elaborate ritual or tools. Both are also likely to be solitary paths (Hedge Witchcraft is not to be confused with Wicca or Green Wicca which is more usually coven based).
A Hedge Witch is likely to have a good understanding of plants and herbalism and may in similar fashion to the Green Witch choose to grow her own plants and have an intuitive understanding of gardening. The focus behind the use of plants is likely to be different however the Green Witch is concerned primarily with the physical nature of the plant, its use as a medicine, in cooking or as an ingredient in magic. The Hedge Witch is interested in forming a relationship with the spirit of the plant and forging a link between themselves and the plant.
The type of plants employed by the Green and the Hedge Witch will also differ. Hedge Witchery is most commonly associated with the use of baneful and entheogenic herbs which are used to create altered states of consciousness. This can be achieved by ingesting parts of the plant or by blending herbs into a flying ointment which is applied to the areas of the body where the skin in the thinnest (usually the soles of the feet) and absorbed into the bloodstream. The term flying refers not to the physical act but to the spirit of the witch flying from the body. There is a belief that the myth of witches flying on their broomsticks in bygone ages is linked to the idea of the spirit of the crone or Hedge Witch leaving her body to journey to other realms. These changes in state brought on by herbal preparations are used to bring about trance states which enable the Hedge Witch to leave his/her body.
The most common reason for the Hedge Witch to invoke a trance state is for the purpose of crossing the hedge (sometimes referred to - particularly by Pagans - as crossing the veil). This is the journey of the spirit of the witch to the Otherworld, the domain of the dead. The journey work of crossing the hedge or riding the hedge (the latter term sometimes used as a simile but also can be used in the sense of journeying to the boundary of the worlds but not actually crossing) is for the purpose of communicating with spirits, communing with ancestors and learning their wisdom. The Hedge Witch will use the wisdom she gains through travelling to progress further on her chosen path.
The idea of the hedge as a metaphor for a boundary can be used to describe the journey of the Hedge Witch overcoming the limits and boundaries of her own mind and connecting with herself on a deeper level in much the same way as she connects with the inhabitants of the other world. Some Hedge Witches extend this inner journey (often called Pathworking) to the journey beyond the boundary of imagination and reality where the spirit of the witch can travel to an altered reality within her own mind and even bring elements of this world back into the real world
The saying that a witch is a person with a foot in each world applies especially so to the Hedge Witch. In a path not dissimilar to Shamanism the Hedge Witch seeks to recruit plant spirits as an ally and to learn from both the spirits of living plants and animals and the deceased spirits of the Otherworld. This presence in both worlds links the Hedge Witch to the Traditional Witches of the past and in the modern incarnation of the Hedge Witch can clearly be seen the historical influence of cunning folk or the wise women of yesterdays magical era.