Eighteen hardy competitors contended with strong winds, spells of sunshine and snow showers at Friends of the Lake District’s Annual Hedge Laying Competition on Saturday 30th January.

The event, held at New Hall Farm, Staveley was part of the Lancashire & Westmorland Hedge Laying Association Grand Prix series bringing together novices, juniors and professionals to show off their skills and lay 115m of hedge between them.

After competing in 5 different classes, including an open class and a new starter class aimed at encouraging young teenagers to learn the art of this traditional rural skill, the winners were chosen.

Judged by local farmers George Redmayne and David Bowes, the results were as follows:

Best Overall Winner - Thomas Kendal

Championship Class

1st Jasper Pratchek, 2nd Peter Gibson, 3rd Andrew Kirkwood

Open Class

1st Thomas Kendal, 2nd Craig Procter, 3rd William Bell

Novice Class

1st Steven Boyes, 2nd Sally Capewell

Junior Class

1st Aiden Handley, 2nd John Handley, 3rd Danny Hodgson

Starter Class

1st Jonny Robinson, 2nd James Yates-Bell, 3rd Robyn Allen

Pictured above: FLD 2016 Hedge Laying Competition winners: (left to right) - Championship class, Jasper Pratchek, Novice Class, Steven Boyes, Starter Class, Jonny Robinson, Junior Class, Aiden Handley, Open Class and Overall Winner, Thomas Kendal.

Ruth Kirk, Friends of the Lake District competition organiser said,

“A well laid hedge not only provides a barrier for livestock which is attractive to look at and intrinsic to the appeal of the Lake District landscape; it’s also an important habitat for countryside birds, many of which are in decline.

“The skill and technique required to lay a hedge well can’t be underestimated and as usual, we were delighted to welcome many spectators to the event. It’s heartening to know that so many people are keen to keep this rural skill alive and thriving.”