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Monday, 28 February 2011

Sat 26th Feb 2011 -Hedge Laying Contest, 2011.

Each year the last Saturday of February heralds the return of the IW Hedgelaying Contest. For 2011 it was held at Calbourne Mill along a stretch of their hedgerow bordering the Newbridge Road. (If you are in the area take a look) For what is now the third time in the contest's history the IW Green Gym entered a couple of teams. The competition is to lay a length of hedge, to certain judged criteria, in a traditional style. Twelve teams entered, a record, as well as many individual participants in the open and novice categories.
Both of our teams worked with only hand tools, such as billhooks and bowsaws, this means that progress is slow; five hours sounds a long time but let me tell you it is the quickest five hours of the year! Both of our teams finished our sections in time however and contributed to what is now a great looking length of layed hedge. The process comprises the pleaching (the laying bit) which is then staked and topped with heatherings or bindings (the top finishing to the stakes). I was in 'Green Gym 2' along with Gill and Alison and we worked constantly to create a length of hedge to which we could be proud. We came 9th in the rankings. 'Green Gym 1' did even better and finished in 7th position, they were Viv, Kevin, Mick and Mark E a very fine result, especially considering the extremely wet conditions they were working in along their section.

A very big well done to everyone! Mark R

Many thanks to Mark for the editorial and to all who sent in the photographs.

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