The Hedge Laying Association of Ireland is delighted to announce that the 2nd Annual All-Ireland Hedge Laying Championship will take place at Grange Boyne, Kilmessan, Co. Meath on Saturday 5th Of October. Last year’s inaugural annual championship , held in Moneymore, Co. Derry, was a great success with fourteen of the country’s leading hedge layers taking part and hundreds of spectators turning up to watch, this year the organisers are hoping for even more.
Hedge Laying has many names around the country, breasting or stretching or layering the hedge being the best known. It was the traditional winter work on farms all over the island, and this form of management produced enough wood to heat the farmhouse all through the winter, as well as rejuvenating the hedge and keeping it stockproof, all a far cry from the mechanised management of today, leaving our hedgrows in many cases, shattered and gappy, disintegrating and broken.
The Hedge Laying Association was founded in 2004 with the expressed purpose of putting this traditional rural skill back on the modern agricultural agenda as the benefits to farms of well maintained healthy hedgerows became increasingly evident.
The craft of hedge laying dates back thousands of years and the regular practice extends the life of the trees almost indefinitely.
Julius Caesar encountered it in Belgium and was very impressed. He wrote of his enemy, the Nervians:
“They had succeeded in making hedges that were almost like walls, by cutting into saplings, bending them over, and intertwining thorns and brambles among the dense side-branches that grew out. These hedges provided such protection that it was impossible to see through them, let alone penetrate them. Since the march of our column would be hindered by such obstacles…” Read more – click here.
Hedge laying receives regular coverage on BBC programmes such as Countryfile and Gardeners World and RTÉ covered one of the HLAI “Assesment Days” where candidates are assessed for their City and Guilds qualification.
For further details on the All-Ireland Hedge Laying Championship call Mark McDowell on 086 3028790 or in the Northern Ireland, Paul O’Hagan on 07591 405275 or check this website.