newly laid hedge

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mr dazzler

Native
Aug 28, 2004
1,712
79
uk
Nice to see a run of properly laid hedgerow, too often they are flailed (and ruined-in the long term). This was done last week at Lopham.





The alder poles and hazel withies came from the fen site. In a year or 2 that hedgerow will be so dense and bushy it will be almost impossible to see through it (new basal growth)
 

Chambers

Settler
Jan 1, 2010
843
5
Darlington
Looks really good but Im not really clued up on laying hedges (I would have thought by laying you just meant planting but obviously not) Why do you cut the bottom and slant, lay? them diagonally? Also after how long would you do this?
 

mr dazzler

Native
Aug 28, 2004
1,712
79
uk
I didnt do this one, I just photographed it. A hedge gets done evry 12 or 15 years, sometimes longer. This one is quite new and fresh. Some are ancient. If they get left too long unattended to, gaps appear, they get top heavy and will eventually collapse down on themselves. I saw just such a case only last Sunday. The idea of haedge laying is to encourage new growth at the base of the hedge, this keeps it stock proof and provides habitats for birds insects etc
http://www.hobbyfarming.co.uk/hedgelaying.html
 

John Fenna

Lifetime Member & Maker
Oct 7, 2006
21,845
1,328
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Pembrokeshire
A well laid hedge is a thing of beauty (especially "Hereford Lay") while a flailed hedge (backed by a fence out of necessity) is a sad sight of a wasted oportunity, a waste of resource and a waste of time.
Most modern farmers as "guardians of the countryside"?
I think not!
The theory of laying a hedge is fairly simple but like all the Arts, the practice takes skill.
A well maintained hedge will last indefinately, a porly maintained hedge for a few years, a flailed hedge - even fewer, a fence...until the rust and rot and animals trash it...sometimes within months!
 

maddave

Full Member
Jan 2, 2004
4,177
34
Manchester UK
I've done hedgelaying when I was a countryside warden... But that one has been done with great care and skill. Thanks for sharing :D
 

locum76

Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)
Oct 9, 2005
2,772
9
44
Kirkliston
Hi. We've got a lot of maturing hedge at the moment. I need to learn this for next season.

Got any tips?
 

FreddyFish

Settler
Mar 2, 2009
565
0
Frome, Somerset, UK
That's really good looking hedge... (not a line I would expect to come out of my mouth)

Thanks for the post and the link, I've just been having a good browse around and quite fancy having a go. (before you all scream, I wasn't planning running out to hack up the closest hedge)
 

Grey Owl

Tenderfoot
Nov 26, 2006
93
1
46
Canada
voyagetothebay.cauc.ca
For those of us from hedge challenged countries, does anyone have photos they could post/link of hedges in the various stages of development and care. Of course, a picture of pooly maintained hedge would be beneficial as well.
 

mr dazzler

Native
Aug 28, 2004
1,712
79
uk
A well laid hedge is a thing of beauty (especially "Hereford Lay") while a flailed hedge (backed by a fence out of necessity) is a sad sight of a wasted oportunity, a waste of resource and a waste of time.
Most modern farmers as "guardians of the countryside"?
I think not!
The theory of laying a hedge is fairly simple but like all the Arts, the practice takes skill.
A well maintained hedge will last indefinately, a porly maintained hedge for a few years, a flailed hedge - even fewer, a fence...until the rust and rot and animals trash it...sometimes within months!
I agree 100%. Only last week I saw a run of several hundred yards, about maybe 7 or 9 years old, stems about 2 inches, height about 12 to 14 foot. I have watchced it grow the last 3 or 4 years, thinking it would be a doddle to lay over when the time comes. Then on the latest ocasion, it had been flailed :dunno::rolleyes: I am not a tree hugger :lmao: and certainly dont believe that trees have spirits, but I could almost hear the hedge screaming, angrily. It will survive of course, just like a man with his arm or leg amputated will surviive....
 

Toadflax

Native
Mar 26, 2007
1,783
0
60
Oxfordshire
Here are some pictures from a two day course I did at the Northmoor Trust in January.

The unlaid hedge, mainly comprising 12-15 year old hawthorn and hazel.



The front face of the hedge is removed, as this is going to be a midland style, with one plain side for a field of crops, and one thorny /bushy side for a field of animals (so the animals can't nibble away at the hedge and bite their way through).



Each tree is laid on its side, by sawing almost all the way through the trunk and cutting out a wedge with axe or billhook. As long at there is a continuous connection of bark /xylem, the tree will continue to grow.



Some more detail of the cuts and laying.



Once the hedge is laid down, hazel rods are knocked in to help support it while it establishes itself.



More detail of the rods.



Three strands of hazel wands are then woven along the top of the rods, both to stabilise the hedge horizontally, and to stop the laid trees from rising.



The tops of the hazel rods are then sawn off (at a slant to allow rain run-off).



And another view of the finished hedge.





Geoff
 
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Dave Budd

Gold Trader
Staff member
Jan 8, 2006
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Dartmoor (Devon)
www.davebudd.com
what is also interesting to note about both of those hedges (both very nice btw ;) is that they are both newly planted! goodjob So they are hedges put in with the intention of having proper layed boundaries and not repair work on a knackered old hedge that has been flailed half to death

My charcoal monkey (technical name ;) ) has been off hedgelaying a lot this winter and I've been supplying hi with stakes, mostly North Somerset style hedges though. He had the mixed pleasure of laying a virgin .... [let that hange there for a moment]... hedge recently. He said it was great that he didn't have to fight through fencing and dead trees that needed the gaps filling in. He also said that the speed at which the trees had grown (hawthorn and ash especially) meant that they kept cracking off due to the extremely wide growth rings :( Some people are never happy :rolleyes:

I've got a load of laying ot do over the coming years, I just have to break the news to a couple of people that they have put their nice new fence IN my hedge line and in order to repair the hedge we will have to rip the fence down :lmao: The fence hasn't stopped their sheep from getting into my woods anyway :pokenest:
 

Tony

White bear (Admin)
Admin
Apr 16, 2003
22,166
707
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Wales
www.bushcraftuk.com
We've had loads of hedge laying around here, it's kept a few mates of mine in work for a good while, it's lovely to see and can change the whole atmosphere of an area, it's much better than being butchered by the tractor cutters although I appreciate it's a lot more manpower, time and money incentive.
 

swyn

Full Member
Nov 24, 2004
846
5
61
Eastwards!
I note one hedge has been laid by 'right handed' folks and the other by 'left handers'! Great to see though.

I've been trying to kickstart the hazel coppicing again here in Bucks. Unfortunately, so far, without success. No one wants to lease the acerage where the coppice stands are, so they continue to decline. One professional Hedge-layer visited and was keen, but in the end it was still easier for him to travel to the West country and buy the raw materials from already established suppliers than try to clean up the stock here. This reaction came during the last large fuel price hike. I wonder if the £1.20 per litre costs will cause a re-think.

In all seriousness though, I am still open to offers!:D

Swyn.
 
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Toadflax

Native
Mar 26, 2007
1,783
0
60
Oxfordshire
I note one hedge has been laid by 'right handed' folks and the other by 'left handers'! Great to see though.
Not true! :) We struggled to lay a 'left handed' hedge with right handed folk. It was a combination of the geometry of the plain face of the hedge on the side on which we worked, and the aesthetics of laying the hedge so that it laid uphill on the slight slope on which we worked. At least that's what the instructor told us!


Geoff
 

Aaron

Need to contact Admin...
Dec 28, 2003
570
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Oxford/Gloucs border
Ahhhhhh, that would have been with my boss, Clive Leeke - you're in good hands with him Geoff, he's been doing it for twenty years and continues to be a 'working' hedge layer (together we've laid over 1000 metres this year, not including courses) as opposed to a competition one who wont touch a hedge unless its absolutely perfect for fear of any criticism with the finished result! For anyone else considering doing a course, it is well worth going throught the local trainers and contractors directory on the NHLS page, (http://www.hedgelaying.org.uk/) - Clive and I have just spent two weeks putting right a hedge laid during a course BTCV did on a stretch of hedge the local council owns, they charged £150 per person for the weekend, and the end result was terrible! (more work for us though I guess :naughty:)
 

Toadflax

Native
Mar 26, 2007
1,783
0
60
Oxfordshire
Ahhhhhh, that would have been with my boss, Clive Leeke - you're in good hands with him Geoff, he's been doing it for twenty years and continues to be a 'working' hedge layer
That's right, you can see him in the first photo - an excellent chap and a very good instructor. Hopefully you won't be coming back to re-lay our hedge! :) Can you say hello to him from me? Thanks.

Going back to Swyn's comments, I think that Clive said he had a small coppice going nearby down near Brightwell or Moreton?

The Northmoor Trust course wasn't too bad a price - £75 for the two days. People came on the course from as far off as Cardiff - they said there weren't very many two day courses around.


Geoff
 

Aaron

Need to contact Admin...
Dec 28, 2003
570
0
38
Oxford/Gloucs border
Going back to Swyn's comments, I think that Clive said he had a small coppice going nearby down near Brightwell or Moreton?
Aye, thats right. Funnily enough, I also work there when I'm not out hedgelaying, cutting the stakes and binders you were using.