Hedge-cutting or hedge laying is an ancient art which creates a stock proof hedge from living thorn and other hedgerow bushes. Hedges can be rejuvenated using this method and have lasted hundreds of years providing a natural boundary between fields that also act as wonderful environment for bird and insect species. The countryside would be the poorer without the work of the hedge-cutter and the willingness of farmers and landowners to bear the costs. An additional benefit to the environment is in the woodlands from which stakes and binders are cut for use in staking and binding the cut or layered hedge.
There are many styles of cutting throughout the country but here in Leicestershire and Rutland we use the Midland Style which was developed to keep in livestock especially cattle and sheep.
The Cottesmore Hunt runs an annual competition to promote hedge laying and all involved with this competition, hedge layers, farmers and landowners are invited to the prize giving party which is held during the summer.
Up to 100 guests attend and the judges are invited to comment upon the work that they have viewed during the day’s judging.
William Cross, Hon. Sec. with the judge ‘Badger Walker at the trophy table
Guests in the garden during the prize giving
The prize giving party is held annually in July to publish the results and to award the trophies, prize cards and prize monies. The party is attended by all of those who have cut and those on whose land the hedges belong.
The pictures above were taken at the party was held on Friday 29th June 2012 at Hill Top Farm, Braunston Road, Oakham, Rutland. The photos taken at that year's party are available for viewing / purchase at: