Cumbria Crack

Yorkshire Dales National Park hedge laying results

One of the competitors gets to work at Lockbank Farm

[L]ockbank Farm near Sedbergh has hosted the tenth annual Yorkshire Dales National Park Hedge Laying Competition.

Organised by the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority (YDNPA) in partnership with the Lancashire and Westmorland Hedge Laying Association, the event on Saturday 6 January attracted 15 entrants across four classes.

YDNPA Head of Land Management, Adrian Shepherd, said: “The event was a great success, with the hedge laying being of a high standard. Hedge laying is an important skill to retain and nurture – particularly in the west of the Park, where there are far more hedges than dry stone walls.

“A good day was had by all, and I’d like to thank the Sedgwick family at Lockbank farm for hosting, the Lancashire & Westmorland Hedge Laying Association for organising the event as part of the grand prix, all the entrants, and our rangers and Dales Volunteers who assisted with the set up and provided refreshments.”

Secretary of the Lancashire and Westmorland Hedge Laying Association, Ann Kendal, said: “It was really pleasing to see a good turnout of younger members.  Although it was a competition, everybody helped each other out.  At the start of the day, the hedges were high and had gaps in, but by the end they’d been reduced to about three and a half feet high and were stock-proof.

“There’s a lot of interest in hedge laying and people are often making enquiries and wanting to learn.”

The hedges in Westmorland tend to be a mixture of thorn, hazel, ash and sycamore.   An important measure of success of hedge-laying is regrowth – and so the hedges which were laid in last year’s competition, at Settlebeck School, were revisited in the summer to see whose stint had done the best.

The results were:

Regrowth from last years competition:

  1. Heather Swift
  2. Andrew Kirkwood
  3. John Handley
  4. Peter Gibson
  5. John Gibson

Junior class:

  1. James Yates-Bell
  2. James Dodgson

Novice Class:

  1. Aidan Handley
  2. Danny Hodgson
  3. James Haigh

Open Class:

  1. John Handley
  2. William Bell
  3. Steven Boyes
  4. John Gibson

Championship Class:

  1. Peter Gibson
  2. Heather Swift
  3. Andrew Kirkwood
  4. Damon Peacock

Best Hedger on the field: Peter Gibson

Junior best nicking prize: John Handley (winner of Samurai Saw)

Veteran competitors:

  1. Heather Swift
  2. John Gibson

The judges were Frank Capstick and Stephen Capstick of Hole House Farm.

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