Hedgelayers sought for annual Cotswolds Competition

PUBLISHED: 13:15 06 November 2012 | UPDATED: 22:18 20 February 2013

Hedgelayers of all levels are being called to take part in the annual North Cotswolds Hedgelaying Competition, organised by the Cotswolds Conservation Board, and taking place at Hitchen Farm, Ford, Gloucestershire, on Saturday, November 17.

Hedgelayers sought for annual Cotswolds Competition

Hedgelayers of all levels are being called to take part in the annual North Cotswolds Hedgelaying Competition, organised by the Cotswolds Conservation Board, and taking place at Hitchen Farm, Ford, Gloucestershire on Saturday,November 17.

The competition, which is part of the Boards rural skills programme of courses and competitions, follows on from the successful Dry Stone Walling Competition held recently at Gatcombe Park. The competition involves five classes of competitor, from novice through to professional, who will be battling it out for the prestigious hedgelaying trophy.

To compete, participants have to cut and lay a section of hedge up to 10 yards in length, depending on which class they belong. The hedge is to be laid in the Midland style and must be 3 6 in height. Judging is carried out by representatives of the National Hedgelaying Society who look for specific aspects of hedgelaying including cut and pleach, stake and heatherings, back of hedge and general appearance.

The traditional art of hedgelaying has been part of the Cotswolds landscape for centuries. Originally used for the purposes of stock control, the skill of laying a hedge was once common practice. However, due to the introduction of cheaper and less labour intensive methods of stock control, this traditional form of land management is now a much rarer skill. The Cotswolds Conservation Board works to keep these skills alive through a programme of courses throughout the Cotswolds Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

There are many styles of hedge-laying throughout the UK. In the Cotswolds the most commonly used are the Midlands style and the Somerset style. For further information on the competition and courses, and to register as a participant, please visit www.cotswoldsruralskills.org.uk or telephone the Cotswolds Conservation Board on 01451 862000.

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