Our annual hedge laying competition took place on Saturday 11th March at Low Sizergh Barn near Kendal. 

Hedgerows form a vital network for wildlife, sequester carbon, help prevent flooding as well as making the field stock proof for the farmer. Farmers and landowners are being asked to create and restore 45,000 miles of hedgerow by 2050 meaning the demand for hedge laying is likely to increase. Events like this will be vital in supporting the rural workforce by celebrating and promoting this traditional countryside skill. 

Kay Andrews, Landscape Engagement Officer said: 

“It was fantastic to see the enthusiasm and energy of all those who took part and spectated on the day. We hope through running the competition and training events we not only help improve participants skills but encourage more people to get involved and raise awareness of the importance of this heritage skill. 

“Thank you to everyone who got involved, Richard Park farmer at Low Sizergh Farm for hosting us and ‘Growing Well’ for access. We were also privileged to be joined by Donald Wilkinson who judged our first hedge laying competition in 1978 and gave out prizes to our winners on the day.” 

Pictured: Holding certificates left to right: Starter champion David Moore, Junior champion Angus Ellwood, Novice champion pairing Nora Pillay & Francis Williams, and Open champion John Handley.

The event at Low Sizergh Barn forms part of the Lancashire & Westmorland Hedge Laying Association Grand Prix series, bringing together juniors, starters, novices, and open level hedge layers to show off their skills. Local professional hedge layers Peter Gibson (Kendal) and Joe Craig (Galgate) were also in attendance to deliver hedge laying training for beginners.  After competing in 4 different classes, the winners out of 15 competitors were chosen by judge and local farmer Gordon Strickland. The results were as follows: 

OPEN Class        

1st          John Handley

2nd        Craig Procter

3rd         John Gibson


NOVICE Class    

1st          Nora Pillay & Francis Williams (who layed as a team)

2nd           David Graveston

3rd          Charles Carefoot



1st              David Moore

2nd             Bridget Pickthall



1st          Angus Ellwood

2nd           Clark Ellwood


BEST HEDGE OF THE DAY: John Handley from Whinfell, near Grayrigg

BEST FEMALE: Heather Swift