This is the group of hardy individuals who braved the winter elements to learn the art of hedge laying last week.
The two day training session was kindly hosted by David Laughlin, Culmore Farm, near Kilrea who said: “As an organic farm we are always open to things that will benefit the farm and its wildlife, we have a great many native hedges on our farm and through the training we now have made a start laying them.”
David Thompson, trainer explained, “Hedge laying is the art of cutting hedgerow stems partly through so that it will bend without breaking and continue to grow. The laid stems are arranged to form a stock proof barrier.
“New growth comes from the cut stump rejuvenating the hedge and thickening up the base. This has excellent benefits for wildlife as the hedge becomes thicker and more diverse while providing a stock proof barrier and shelter for livestock.”
Rachel Bain, Biodiversity Officer, Ballymoney, Coleraine, Limavady and Moyle Councils explained: “These two hedge laying training sessions were part of the Hedgerows Grow West project, supported by the National Lottery through the Heritage Lottery Fund.”
Rachel continued, “I was impressed with the high level of interest in the hedge laying training and the dedication of those who attended despite the weather conditions, but with an excellent trainer and venue, everyone enjoyed learning this traditional skill and all went away with the skills and knowledge to start work on their own hedges.”
For more information on hedge laying go to http://www.hedgelaying.ie/ or visit Culmore Farm at http://www.culmoreorganicfarm.com/