Learn the traditional craft of hedge laying

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Join expert tutor and professional hedge layer Steve Clifton in the New Year to learn the age-old craft of hedge laying. Participants will lay a section of hedgerow at Ladderedge Country Park using traditional techniques and no prior knowledge of the skill is necessary to take part.

Hedge laying is a traditional form of management that creates a living stock proof barrier, an important wildlife habitat. Stems are cut and bent. Cut but still attached bent stems (pleachers) are staked to create a stock proof barrier, with new bushy growth arising from the cut stems. Repeated laying on a 20-50 year cycle maintains a hedge indefinitely.

Native hedges are a priority habitat for conservation management in the Staffordshire and UK biodiversity action plans. Managed, laid hedges support more wildlife than unmanaged hedges. Recent scientific research has found breeding birds are produce more young in traditionally laid hedges.

The course, which takes place on Saturday 1 and Sunday 2 February, runs from 10am to 4pm each day. It costs £50 per person and booking is essential. Please telephone 01538 395522 to book a place. Participants are advised to wear layers, warm waterproof clothing stout shoes or boots and bring a packed lunch. All tools, gloves and other personal protective equipment is provided.

Previous participants have varied from those wanting to learn a traditional craft and gain an appreciation of how hedges are managed, to those wanting to lay hedges on their land.