A climbing or scrambling perennial herb of hedge banks, waysides, wood-borders and lightly grazed grasslands. In upland areas it favours more open, ungrazed situations but it is most frequently found on neutral or basic soils. Generally lowland, but reaching 820 m in Caenlochan (Angus).
V. sepium shows no change in its overall distribution since the 1962 Atlas.
Eurosiberian Boreo-temperate element; widely naturalised outside its native range.