Farming Matters: The 35th National Hedge Laying Championships

National Hedge Laying competition held on Waddesdon Estate October 2013.
National Hedge Laying competition held on Waddesdon Estate October 2013.
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The Waddesdon Estate provided a stunning location for the 35th National Hedge Laying Championship last weekend.

More than 100 competitors from across the country displayed their skills before appreciative members of the public, who were delighted to have such a prestigious event in the locality.

National Hedge Laying competition held on Waddesdon Estate

National Hedge Laying competition held on Waddesdon Estate

Aylesbury NFU secretary Simon Parker was amongst a large gathering of local farmers and rural business people who keenly supported the event.

Craft and food stalls included leather belts and goods, wood carvings, old country tools, a pig roast and home made cakes

The competitors covered every age range from young farmers through to veterans. They displayed a variety of different hedge laying techniques.

These included the Midland which is most suitable for farms with large heavy animals such as cattle and horses and therefore needs to withstand the weight of an animal pushing against it.

Other styles on display included the Derbyshire which encourages growth around the base to make it more suitable for restraining sheep; and the Yorkshire used in arable fields where a thin hedge is suitable and has time to regenerate over five years before livestock return to the field.

The judges were looking for good hedges which looked neat and tidy and above all, would do the job that was intended - to be a barrier to livestock.

There was a long list of classes and prizes, and the accolade of supreme champion was bestowed upon Peter Gibson from Cumbria by Lord Rothschild.