The hedge was a maiden of about fifteen years or so which had been flailed for several years at about five feet and then allowed to grow on to about twice that height. The farmer had recently mowed the field right up to the hedge, removing a lot of bramble and other growth from around the base. On first sight the hedge looked very straightforward and not too heavy, so almost all competitors chose to cut with hand tools only - there being a special prize for the best axe work. However, as has been the case in the past first impressions can be wrong, and so it proved in this case, as whilst the bottom of the hedge looked relatively clear the upper part was full of bramble and after an hours hard work most competitors had not yet started laying.
So slow was the progress due to excessive clearing-out that after the allotted time of five hours less than half the competitors had completed their ten yard cants. So we went off to lunch and came back and finished off later.
Despite all the difficulties the finished hedge looked great and being next to a busy road attracted a lot of attention from the public.