It is believed that Cumbria may have up to 14,000 miles of hedgerows with the greatest concentrations of hedgerow occurring in the lowland parts of the county where growing conditions are more favourable.
Hedges are one of the most important natural habitats on many farms and so conscientious management will make all the difference to providing a good farm environment.
The traditional skill of hedge laying is carried out in the winter months and the styles vary throughout the county due to differing physical conditions and limited links between districts of Cumbria in the past. Most notable of these, is the contrast between the hedgelaying techniques used in the former counties of Cumberland and Westmorland.
Hedgerows laid in the Cumberland Style are distinctive in having most branches and stems removed, with only the main stems (liggers) laid, low to the ground. The Cumberland hedge is typical of north Cumbria and is grown on a bank. It is relatively low growing but can be 3 foot wide covering the bank. It usually takes a couple of years to mature to be stock proof.
The Westmorland hedge, is very natural looking hedge, which is thick and wide, with a greater proportion of the woody material being left in the hedgerow. It is double brushed and double staked usually about 3' - 3'6” square with the stems being laid at a steeper angle to leave a more intact, solid barrier. The style was created to try and retain ewes and lambs, the thickness offering shelter.
This year we are running two courses on hedge laying:
Date: 5th November Venue: Annfield Farm, Cockermouth
Date: 25th November Venue: Low Farm, Nateby, Kirkby Stephen
Cost is £40 for FWAG/NFU members £50 Non members
We are also running a course on Hedge Planting & Management
Date: 8th November Venue: Dobcross Hall, Gaitsgill, Dalston.
This course is free of charge.
Contact FWAG on 01900 828684 for further information or to book a place on the above courses.