So as you know from my first blog on hedgelaying I once earned 30-60% of my annual income from hedgelaying work.
I’m currently laying 350m of hedge at home, I will sadly not get it done before the end of March cut off for cutting on the grant we have on this work but it’s a two year scheme so I can roll it over to next year with out a problem and pick straight up in the first of September.
To answer a few question I took a few photo yesterday to illustrate the cuts and how they are made. The initial pleaching cut is made with either a chainsaw, axe or billhook (will show this later). The cut is made down and slightly across the grain to thin the stem and allow it to bend over. The cut stems are then laid over ideally at 45degrees but that depends on the size of the hedge and the amount of timber in it.
Once laid over the stems are “built” into a hedge using stakes that are knocked into the ground. Then in our style “midland” or “bullock” hedge a woven binding is added on top using willow or hazel rods to tie in the stake tops together. This binding prevents the wind lifting the pleachers it also stopped the bullocks that the hedge was named after from lifting the pleachers with there horns.
This hedge was planted when the road was widened and straightened and the original field made smaller in the late 60s early 70s.
It for many years was trimmed using a flail hedge cutter to around chest height and that is the clear growth point you can see in the original photos I posted.
We have then trimmed off all the growth on the face side of the stems to around 5ft high, that is typical for midland style as we have a clear face side to the hedgerow.
Dreaming of a sawmill, feels like a museum. Thanks for looking Adam.
- Part 1: A bit further along.