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Hands-on hedgelaying

Man hedgelaying at Honeybuns Bakery

A happy new year to Honeybuns enthusiasts everywhere. We are continuing to progress in encouraging wildlife onto the farm. This month we are planning to plant more native hedging across the site.

Here at Honeybuns we are passionate about traditional country crafts. This week I have become an apprentice hedge layer. Graham our resident man of many skills is attempting to teach me this ancient craft. In the grip of the ‘Canadian Polar vortex’ we set to work.

Wrapped up like arctic explorers, we began to cut stems at the base of each tree. Cutting just enough so each stem bends easily but doesn’t break is a skill. It was amazing to see how thin a strip of wood and bark you can leave without killing the tree. We bound each cut section at regular spacing and soon I got the hang of our task, I’m far from an expert but I enjoyed our work. I even began to forget the biting wind and thorns!

Hedgelaying at Honeybuns

Why do we lay hedges instead of building fences? It’s a country craft which was developed to stop livestock from straying and provide cover from wind and sun. It regenerates hedges and encourages new growth. Laid hedges provide excellent habitat for birds and small mammals. We have some old hedges here and you can see the plant, insect and birds they support. Hedges are an important part of our countryside. Hedge laying skills should be encouraged and I’ve learned some valuable lessons.

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