Dorset hedgelayers showcased their traditional skills in a national competition. 

This year’s National Hedgelaying Championship took place at the picturesque Stourhead National Trust site in Wiltshire. 

More than 100 people took part in the competition under sunny skies on October 28 as they battled to be the best of their class. 

A determined team of seven represented Dorset, tasked with creating a uniform hedge made of thorn, with maple, willow and dogwood scattered along its length.

The Dorset team had a new class winner this year with Tim Frampton coming in first followed by Russell Woodham in second, Terry Combe in third and Rob Wood in fourth. 

Malcolm Johnson was the overall winner for 2017, cutting in the Midland style.

Honor Bank, of the Dorset team, said: “The cutters had a level playing field. 

“After clearing away unwanted stems and brambles, this alone making a marked difference to the skyline, the true art of hedgelaying began with stems being cut and woven, and the distinctive character of the 10 different regional styles on show taking shape.

“It seemed to take no time at all for the 2pm finish horn to be sounded and the competitors could do no more than stand back and eye the competition and speculate on who has got it this year.”

Along with sections for hedgelayers, marquees, countryside crafts, stalls and demonstrations were on offer, as well as a ‘have a go’ section for the public to try their hand under the guidance of a trainer.

Honor added: “It was evident at this very well organised event, the many hours of work that must have gone into making the 39th National Championships such a good day out.

“Congratulations go to all the Dorset team along with all 104 participants making such a difference to a mile’s worth of hedge row.”

The Dorset team were sponsored this year by Gillian Worth and Melplash Agricultural Society.

The 40th National Championships are being held on Saturday, October 27, 2018 at Lark Rise Farm Cambridge 

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