Sunday, October 26, 2008

The Natoinal Hedgelaying Championships were held this year at Sandringham........yes the Queens estate in Norfolk.........and Pete by virtue of having won a class at the Blackdown Hills hedge event in March was eligible to compete (you have to have either won a competition or have attended a certified course run by the NHLS I believe....but don't quote me!)
So off to Norfolk we went on Friday.........and I can confirm that its a bloomin long way with no direct route as in Britain all roads seem to go from north to south or east to west and we wanted to go from southwest to north east!.............6 hours later we arrived at the b&b and collapsed exhausted.
Next morning we arrived at the hedgelaying competition that also had a ploughing match attached to it....a real country day out and having met all the other people who had travelled up from the southwest for the Devon & Somerset Style class the draw for which bit of hedge was whose was made.
Now to those who have no idea what hedgelaying is I will let the pictures speak for themselves save to say its a way of turning a row of small trees into a stockproof barrier with different styles from different parts of the country.
Pete had a decent bit of hedge to lay and they all had 5 hours to complete their sections. One of our local Blackdown Hills hedgelayers called Roger Parris who is a real charecter had a Japaneese film crew following him all day!
Pete did not win anything because the standard was amazing, but gave a very good account of himself as would be expected of a man who hedgelays as part of his business. The standard in the Devon & Somerset section in which he was competing was in fact so high that the supreme champion hedge was Terry Coombes from the Blackdowns!!! To go all the way to Norfolk and win was a terrific achievement for our area and style of laying!

The top 2 pictures show a Welsh style and Yorkshire style which has a fence built in it! The next one shows Roger Parris laying his hedge, the one with the car wizzing in the background is thw Champion hedge of Terry Coombes and the last id of Pete making the finishing touches to his hedge with an enormous pile of 'brash' or waste cut from the hedge behind him!

We left as it was getting dark and arrived home at midnight, tired but happy after a brilliant day


Blu said...

A delight, my next door neighbour in Dorset often worked hedgelaying after he had retired, full time employment. He did it for some pocket money, bloomin lovely to see.

Simply Authentic said...

How incredible! This is a great concept--one that should be utilized more than it is I would imagine. How great to that he could participate! Thank you for sharing this!

hen said...

It's great to see these pictures all together, good to compare the different styles.

The one that won doesn't look as 'pretty' as the others (sorry, can't think of a better word!!!), but looks dense, tidy and solid, so I can see why it's good!

The hedges in the Cotswolds are layed with a weave put along the top of the hedge, looks beautiful.

all the best val,


Val Grainger said...

Yes Hen I know what you mean! The Devon style that won is usually more exciting as it is on top of a bank....but they don't have Devon banks in Norfolk!!!
The ones you have in the Cotswolds with the binders along the top are called Midlands style.