A team of Dorset Hedgelayers travelled to Hough on the Hill in Lincolnshire for the 36th National Hedgelaying Championships. After a seven hour minibus ride, (thankfully we really do not know what traffic is in Dorset) a good meal, a few pints and a good night’s sleep, everyone was up bright and early for the 8:30am draw to determine who is to work on each section of hedge.
As this was only the second year Dorset had entered a team in the National Championships, there was a lot of interest in our style of Hedgelaying. The 2ft 6in finished height usually seen on top of a bank was quite a contrast on the flat Lincolnshire landscape to the more upright 4-5ft finish of other styles.
Each competitor is scored out of 100, points are given for quality of cutting and laying, use of binders, overall strength, effectiveness as a stock barrier, overall appearance and tidiness of site. Judges for Dorset were Peter Yeates and Henry Selway.
The winners of each of the eleven classes represented are then judged for the accolade of Supreme Champion, this year won by Gwynn Davis laying in the Welsh Border Style.
Results for Dorset Class: 1st Russell Woodham, 2nd Malcolm Dowling, 3rd Rob Wood.
The cup and prizes were presented by Mrs Gilly Worth who kindly sponsored the Dorset class this year in memory of her father Mr Kenneth Paul of Whitcombe, Dorchester.
Thanks also to Melplash Agricultural Society for ensuring the Dorset Hedgelayers were smartly turned out.
Next year the National Championships will be a little closer to home at Chew Valley Lakes, Bristol on Saturday 24th October 2015. For further information go to www.hedgelaying.org.uk.
Any hedgelayers who lay in the Dorset style who have won at local competitions interested in competing please contact Russell at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sponsorship is also being sought for 2015, please initially contact Russell at the above email if you are interested in helping with this.