Hedgelaying styles – Midland, Yorkshire etc

Donato Cinicolo, a hedgelayer who gave me loads of help on the book, lent me these pictures of different hedgelaying styles to use , though in the end we are using some different ones. I like these though, there is something comical about the little hedges with individual signs. They are from a National Hedgelaying exhibition.

The varying ways that hedges are laid is surprisingly interesting as the local variations often reflect differences in the local terrain and agriculture, and there are details like the fact that hedgelaying styles in foxhunting areas always have the stakes cut sloping into the hedge (so horses don’t get their hooves snagged). Then you have the hedges of Cornwall and Devon which could be a whole book in themselves – generally in that part of the world, hedges are stone-covered banks, which might or might not have hedge shrubs planted along the top – there is loads of information at the Cornish Hedges website. At some point I’ll put up more detail on the different styles.

Anyhow, here are the pictures:



Filed under Hedgelaying

4 responses to “Hedgelaying styles – Midland, Yorkshire etc

  1. Allan Portas

    The photographs are of the National Hedge Laying Societies exhibition which tours agricultural shows during the summer months. There are over 35 different styles known in the UK and all are documented in the records of the society.

  2. Thanks, that’s right – they’re really useful when you see the actual things, but they didn’t really demonstrate the details of differing styles very well when reproduced in small black and white versions of the photos, so Robin Dale kindly lent me some different pictures of some of the most common styles for the book. I think the best way to quickly learn a bit about hedgelaying is to go the hedgelaying competitions around the country (also organised by the National Hedgelaying Society) as nothing beats seeing a hedgelayer in action if you want to understand the process more clearly.

  3. Emily Ledder

    Don’t miss out on the opportunity to see eight regional styles of hedge laying at the annual National Hedge Laying Championship on Saturday 16th October at Waddesdon Estate, near Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire, HP18 0JY.

    This prestigious event attracts over 100 competitors from all over the UK to compete for the coveted title of “Supreme Champion”. Each competitor has 5 hours to cut and lay 10 yards of hedge. In the process they will between them, utilize approximately 200 sawn wood stakes, 2000 Hazel stakes plus three and a half miles of hazel binders to hold the hedges in position. Judging takes place in the afternoon, points being awarded for the cutting, neatness and appearance of the hedge and adherence to the traditional style being cut.

    Traditional English Hedge laying still has an essential place in maintaining and preserving hedgerows and is still a utilised method of hedgerow management across the country. With the Championships providing the perfect opportunity to observe the age old crafts.

    In addition to the competition there will be displays of:
    Chainsaw Carving, Hurdle Making, Windsor Chair making, Falconry, Working Bee Hives and a variety of Trade Stands.

    Food & Drink available on site.
    Open to the public and ample parking available.
    Entry is only £2/adult and 50p for children over 12yrs.
    The public are welcome from 9:00am with judging commencing at 2:30pm and prize giving at 4:00pm.

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