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3:49 PM 8th January 2020

Hedge Laying As A Competitive Sport

Syke Farm in Howgill near Sedbergh can boast of a freshly laid hedge, after hosting the twelfth annual Yorkshire Dales National Park Hedge Laying Competition.

The new hedge at Syke Farm
The new hedge at Syke Farm
Organised by the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority in partnership with the Lancashire and Westmorland Hedge Laying Association, the event on Saturday 4 January attracted 13 competitors across four classes. The competitors worked on a hedge that was last laid in 1998.

The results were:

Championship Class (four entrants):

1 Andrew Kirkwood. 2. Craig Procter 3. Peter Gibson 4. Heather Swift.

Open Class (four entrants):

1. John Gibson 2 Aidan Handley 3. John Handley 4. James Haigh

Novice Class (four entrants):

1. James Yates-Bell 2.Jon Oliver 3. David Martindale 4. Nicky Leeth

Starter Class (one entrant):

1. John Martindale

Best Hedger on the day: Andrew Kirkwood

Junior best nicking prize: Aidan Handley (winner of Samurai Saw)

The judges were Roger Sedgwick from Sedbergh and Paul Postlethwaite from Endmoor.

Farm Conservation Adviser at the National Park Authority, Hannah Fawcett, said: “It was great to see competitors and spectators enjoying the day and continuing this traditional skill. Hedgerows are an intrinsic part of the landscape in the western Dales, providing an enduring stock proof barrier and habitat for wildlife.”