Some content on this page may be a little dated. Things like legislation, prices and grant information can change quite quickly. This page was created from content written during or before 2012 and is a priority for us to update.
Associations and competitions
The National Hedgelaying Society was formed in 1978 and aims to:
- encourage the craft of hedge laying and keep the local styles in existence
- train young people in the craft
- encourage landowners to manage hedges by laying
- improve hedge laying standards
The Society compiles an annual list of all the competitions or matches of which it is informed, which is published on the Society’s website. Competitions are organised by local hedge laying groups, young farmers’ clubs, agricultural societies and hunts. The season starts in mid-September, and runs through to the end of March, with a break in December and January. During the season 2001-2002 at least 30 competitions were organised by various groups in England and Wales.
The National Hedgelaying Society organises the National Hedgelaying Championships, which takes place annually in October. The venue changes each year.
In the South West, turf and stone hedging replaces hedge laying, with the West of England Ploughing and Hedging Championship held annually in autumn.
TCV runs training courses on many aspects of practical conservation, including hedge laying and other craft skills. For more information contact your local office or the headquarters of TCV.
Courses run by Lantra are primarily aimed at people employed in agriculture and horticulture, but may be open to all.
Many county agricultural colleges run courses in hedge laying and other aspects of hedge management. The aim of the courses is usually to prepare and examine students according to the hedge management tests set by the National Proficiency Tests Council. These are listed under Agriculture and Horticulture/Farm Maintenance on the NPTC website, together with details of assessment centres and contacts. Further details are available from the NPTC Secretary for your area, who can be contacted either through your local agricultural college, or through the head office of the NPTC.
National Vocational Qualifications (NVQs) or Scottish Vocational Qualifications (SVQs) in environmental conservation may include hedgerow management. Relevant training will help a candidate gain understanding of, and competence in hedgerow management, which will help towards gaining the NVQ or SVQ. For further information on NVQs contact the Qualification and Curriculum Authority, and for information on SVQs, contact the Scottish Qualifications Authority.
Grants may be available to assist with the planting and maintenance of hedgerows. Details are subject to change, but the organisations mentioned below may be able to assist. TCV publishes an annual list titled ‘Information on grants and awards’ open to local groups, communities and schools. This list is available from head office. Also contact your local TCV office, who will be able give advice on grants and other opportunities in your local area.
Grants may be available as part of an agreement under the Countryside Stewardship Scheme, or in Environmentally Sensitive Areas (ESAs). For further details contact DEFRA. Many local councils run grant schemes for hedgerows in conjunction with the Countryside Agency. Contact your local District or County Council for advice.
Contact the Countryside Council for Wales for details of the Hedgerow Renovation Scheme.
For information on grant schemes, contact the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development.