Cover photo by Luke Whatley-Bigg
Husband and Wife team and founders of Hedges & Hurdles, Lorraine and Paul Matthews are passionate about sharing their knowledge and skills with others, encouraging people to discover a newfound love for nature and the outdoors!
Offering “Experiences”, including Hedgelaying and Wattle Hurdle Making training courses, heritage skills are undertaken during the autumn and winter months.
Hands-on Wood Craft Workshops are held throughout the year utilising seasonal materials cut and harvested locally as part of a sustainable woodland management programme. From traditional Willow Weaving Courses, Wood Craft and Bushcraft Workshops to private bespoke events for those special occasions. We also design activities for Corporate team building events.
Lorraine and Paul continue to develop exciting activities for adults, teenagers, families and private groups. Courses take place at various locations in and around Surrey Hills and Sussex.
The range of rustic country craft products produced are made from woodland material gathered and coppiced locally and include Woven Arch’s, Wattle Hurdles, Beadles (wooden hammers), Obelisk/Plant Supports, Cheese Boards, Cake Stands, Birch Hearts, Wooden Tea Light Candle Holders, Wreaths, Table Decorations plus much more. All products are bespoke.
Hedges & Hurdles are proud to have been awarded Trade Mark Surrey Hills an accreditation awarded by Surrey Hills Enterprises and is a Mark of outstanding local provenance, quality and sustainability.
The awarding body, Surrey Hills Enterprises works with local businesses to support the rural economy and to promote, protect and enhance the beautiful Surrey Hills.
Paul Matthews is a registered and active member of the South of England Hedgelaying Society and the National Hedge Laying Society of England & Wales. An active participant in Regional and National Hedgelaying competitions Paul was awarded the title of National Champion in 2012, 2014, 2015 and 2017 and was also very proud to be awarded Supreme Champion status in 2015.
“Fabulous weekend on a hedgelaying weekend – what a lovely skill to learn! I was a complete novice, but Paul was a great tutor, guiding me through each step as we went along. The course is very well organised by Lorraine and Paul, I’d highly recommend it.” Facebook review by Sharon Horder
Paul is also highly skilled at Hurdle-making, an age-old practice of ‘weaving’ cleft hazel rods through upright hazel rods, the method varies throughout the UK. Hurdles are used as a rustic and practical and attractive alternative to modern-day fencing panels.
Traditional coppicing, hedgelaying and wattle hurdle courses are available via Hedges and Hurdles on selected weekends during the winter months starting in October through to the end of March. For further information see Hurdle Making Courses and Hedgelaying Courses
Lorraine has spent the majority of her career working in senior commercial roles within the publishing industry and now manages all aspects of Hedges & Hurdles business including PR, Marketing, Finance and everything relating to running a small business!
Lorraine is skilled at making handmade crafts from wood she coppices and harvests locally and combines these skill with her experience and ability to deliver personable, varied and interesting workshops and training courses for all.
“Great time making mini and maxi obelisk for the garden. Helpful guidance and tips from Lorraine and the cups of tea helped keep us warm! Highly recommend these courses. Keeping the traditional crafts alive.” Facebook review by Sarah Hellard