Monday, 29 October 2012

The Nationals

Competed in The National Hedgelaying Championships again this year. The competition was at Brocklesby near Grimsby last Saturday on what was a cold day with frequent showers of rain and sleet.

On first sight the hedge looked very manageable.

but on closer inspection, it proved to be a bit of a monster.
 It had been laid some time in the past and there were some heavy live pleachers and some large multiple stems.
 I thought I was going to run out of time as it was taking an age to get the upper branches untangled and the heavy stems laid - including a very large multiple-stem at the end that I had to partly back lay and double pleach in order to try and fill a gap (a bit of a split-back there as you can see).

I had managed to draw the cant on the end of the section that had an eight foot gap where a field gate had been in the past. My neighbour was able to drop his first pleachers into the gap  without laying off but this meant that part of my hedge had no brash coming in from his cant and was therefore rather thin at that end, despite the back lay and some dead material (OK'd with the steward).

The stake-line was reasonably straight but could have been better if the large stems had allowed the stakes to be positioned as I wanted.

 So, all-in-all I was pleased with a second place in the SoE Vets - and the regrowth prize for my 2011 hedge.

Cobrans Farm 13th October 2012

I should also include here a photo of a very nice section of ten year old maiden hedge that I laid with two trainees on Cobrans Farm, East Sussex as part of a SoE training day. Again it was a very wet day and the field was saturated. However, the hedge was a joy to lay and the end result very pleasing to the eye.

West Grinstead Ploughing Match 15th September 2012

A very warm day at the West Grinstead Ploughing Match. I was not sure what to do with this hedge as it was a rag-bag of Blackthorne, Hazel and Privet that over the years had slipped halfway down the bank into the ditch. it also had some nasty thin bits. The consensus was to lay it up the bank Midland fashion and this is what I did but I can't say I was happy with the result. You will see that my neighbour on the right laid his cant along the hedge line giving a neat appearance.

Mine looked OK from the 'face' side but didn't win any prizes!!