For the first time a Dorset Class was included in the 35th National Hedgelaying Championships held this year at Waddesdon Manor in Buckingham by kind permission of the Honourable Lord and Lady Rothschild.
This has been achieved as a result of the commitment and lobbying by a group of local hedgers lead by Tim Frampton, Russell Woodham, Nigel Dowding and Kevin Goodfellow, who as members of the Melplash Agricultural Society organise, judge and compete in the Society’s annual Hedgelaying match. They run training sessions throughout the year to teach people the Dorset-way of hedgelaying and also run a free training day for novices prior to the MAS annual competition to encourage new and young hedgers to take up the skill and learn how to lay a hedge the Dorset-way. As a result the numbers of competitors competing each year in the match is on the increase as is the interest in the Dorset style.
There were over 100 hedgers from all parts of the country competing at the National Hedgelaying Championship. The counties represented were the Midlands, Wales, Derbyshire, Lancashire, Southern England (Wiltshire & Hampshire), West Moorland, Yorkshire, North Somerset, Devon and this year Dorset.
Each hedger had to lay a hedge of 10 meters in length made up of 90% maple and 10% hawthorn.
The Dorset class had 6 entrants: Chris Claxton, Russell Woodham, Ed Goodfellow, Kevin Goodfellow, Tim Frampton and, Malcolm Dowling. The judges were Kevon Rendell and Henry Selway and the Steward Jon Stockwell from Yarcombe, Devon.
The Dorset winners were: 1st Ed Goodfellow 2nd Russell Woodham 3rd Kevin Goodfellow
“The Dorset-style hedgelaying which uses no crooks, no string or wire caused a lot of interest and many questions were asked about the system and the style” said Judge Kevon Rendell. Kevon has agreed with the National Hedgelaying Society to champion the style and will be arranging a meeting in April 2014 so that any interested parties can attend to discuss and formalise the Dorset Hedgelaying style for perpetuity. If interested contact Kevon Rendell on 01308 862538.