Hedgelaying competition held at Dobshall Wood in Arnside

The Arnside and Silverdale AONB hosted the annual Lancashire & Westmorland Hedgelaying Association competition at Dobshall Wood.

By Michelle Blade
Monday, 24th January 2022, 12:35 pm
One of the competitors in the annual Lancashire & Westmorland Hedgelaying Association competition at Dobshall Wood. Picture by Brad Cheek.
One of the competitors in the annual Lancashire & Westmorland Hedgelaying Association competition at Dobshall Wood. Picture by Brad Cheek.

The competition was named in honour of Damon Peacock, whose skills and tutelage in the art of hedge laying are sorely missed by all.

The competition saw a good turnout with a total of 18 competitors, competing across Junior (Under 18s), Starter, Novice, and Open categories.

The event was hosted and organised by Arnside & Silverdale Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB), with the kind permission of the landowner, The Woodland Trust.

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Hedges are laid in the traditional Westmorland style and are judged for being stock-proof, good cutting-angles and tidy trim, being well staked and, most importantly, for their hedge re-growth qualities.

The results were:

Junior Class: 1 Clark Ellwood, 2 George Harrison, 3 Angus Ellwood

Starter Class: 1 Andy Roger, 2 Mark Reynolds

One of the competitors in the annual Lancashire & Westmorland Hedgelaying Association competition at Dobshall Wood. Picture by Brad Cheek.

Novice Class: 1 James Yates Bell, 2 Neil Croskery, 3 Sally Capewell

Open Class: 1 Craig Procter, 2 William Bell, 3 David Whittaker

James Yates-Bell won the title of ‘Best Hedge on the Day’ .

Dougie Watson, Arnside & Silverdale AONB countryside officer said: “It was great to have so much interest from the public this year: the site was brilliantly placed for people to come and see the traditional skill in action. The weather was great, and we were delighted to see so many young people taking part.”

One of the competitors in the annual Lancashire & Westmorland Hedgelaying Association competition at Dobshall Wood. Picture by Brad Cheek.

Colin Riley, Woodland Trust Site Manager (North) said: “We were keen to do something meaningful to remember Damon, and this was a great opportunity to celebrate his connections with The Woodland Trust. Competitors skilfully laid approximately 170 metres of hedge, a success which will indeed live long in the landscape.”

The Arnside and Silverdale AONB is recognised for its extraordinary diversity of habitats, and of plants, birds and butterflies. The stunning limestone pavements, ancient woodlands, intimate orchards and meadows, and impressive coastline as well as an intriguing history make this area one of England’s finest landscapes.

Further information about the National Hedgelaying Association is available at here