National Hedgelaying Society


Keep up to date with the latest news about the National Hedgelaying Society, Hedgerows and Hedgelaying

28th July 2021 – Green Recovery Fund Challenge Fund Award

The Launch of the Rural Skills Hub by the Dry Stone Walling Association in partnership with the National Hedgelaying Society has received a £97,000 award from the Government's Green Recovery Challenge Fund.

For more details see the GCRF Press Release.

8th October 2020 – NHLS Member John Savings wins “Volunteer of the Year” Award

Congratulations to NHLS Stalwart and Life Member John Savings who has been awarded the Heritage Crafts Association “Marsh Heritage Crafts Volunteer of the Year Award”. More information about the award can be found on the HCA awards site.

Those of you who have visited NHLS stands at country shows or come along to the National Championship will probably have met John exhibiting his extraordinary “Bonsai Hedgelaying” display which is pictured here.

26th March 2019 – This Year's National Hedgelaying Championship

The 2019 National hedgelaying Championship will take place at Pewsey Hill Farm near Marlborough in Wiltshire on 26th October. See the National Championship page for more details.

20th June 2018 – Financial Awards for Young Hedgelayers

We have extended the scheme whereby hedgelayers under the age of 30 can claim a £25 bursary from the NHLS when training or competing into the 2018/19 season. See the Awards page for more details.

17th May 2017 – Hedges Combat Air Pollution

Cities need to 'green up' to reduce impact of air pollution

The harmful impact of urban air pollution could be combated by strategically placed hedges along roads in a built-up environment of cities instead of taller trees, a new study has found.

The study, just published in the journal Atmospheric Environment, points out that low hedges reduce the impact of pollution from vehicles in cityscapes where there are large buildings close to roads, far more effectively than taller trees. In some environments, trees actually make the pollution more concentrated depending on prevailing wind conditions and built-up configurations.

The study is a collaborative effort by partners from the UK, Europe and USA, led by the University of Surrey's Professor Prashant Kumar, under the umbrella of H2020 funded project, iSCAPE: Improving Smart Control of Air Pollution in Europe.

9th September 2016 – Disappearing Dormouse

The Dormouse, one of the countries favourite mammals is an endangered species according to Ian White a spokesman for the wildlife charity People's Trust for Endangered Species, speaking on BBC Radio 4 Today programme.

Britain's native dormouse has declined by more than a third since the year 2000 according to a new study by the charity. Some of this decline is due to the loss of habitat and changes in the way in which Woodlands and Hedgerows are managed.

At the National Hedge Laying Society we are uniquely placed to help combat this decline with the knowledge and skill of hedge layers to managed hedgerows in a traditional way, which is wildlife friendly.

22nd August 2016 – Brexit & The Hedgelayer

So how will Brexit change Hedgelaying? It is perhaps too early to predict any precise outcomes but the indicators are already in place to suggest some major changes. The price of agricultural land has always been a good barometer of the farm economy. Recently agricultural land prices have taken a down turn and if this continues it suggest an agricultural depression is on its way. But what’s new, farmers have been on a roller coaster ride for hundreds of years.

The Government has already indicated that they will continue with Pillar one (Farm Payments) after leaving the EU, although there is considerable pressure to place a cap on payments for larger holdings. No guarantees have been given regarding the environmental payments and the farming lobby is anxious to ease the regulations regarding hedgerows. It would seem that the days of substantial grants for major hedgelaying projects may be coming to an end.

Nevertheless agricultural small holdings and Hobby farming is on the increase and the conservation sector remains buoyant. Regardless of the economy hedges still have to be maintained and I suspect that there will be plenty of work for the hedge trimmers and any enterprising hedgelayers willing to sell skill training. So get out there and convince the world that hedgelayers are needed.

One thing is for sure, there are many twists and turns to be negotiated along the way out of Europe. Don't panic and keep in mind that modern agriculture depends on World prices, not on European or British politicians.