Wood Craft Workshop

Offering a 20% discount for groups of 3 or more if you book before the end of July to join our outdoor Wood Craft Workshop under the guidance of tutors Lorraine and Debbie.

Our workshops are set in a lovely home country garden location in Redhill, Surrey.

 

Book a Wood Craft Workshop today!

Handmade@Sussexprairies Fair

We will be exhibiting this coming weekend at the Handmade@sussexprairies Fair.

Saturday 14th July – Sunday 15th July | 11:00am – 5:00pm

The aim of the Fair is to showcase an attractive , affordable and quality selection of work by local artists and makers. We will therefore be exhibiting products we have handmade from wood coppiced locally and promoting our Wood Craft Workshops and Hedgelaying & Hurdle Making Trainng Courses!

New award for Hedges & Hurdles!

Hedges & Hurdles is one of the outstanding Surrey organisations to be awarded the Trade Mark Surrey Hills.

The Trade Mark Surrey Hills is a new accreditation and a Mark of local provenance and quality. The Award promotes the very best of what Surrey has to offer and celebrates those organisations of high quality that reflect and support the distinct and special nature of the Surrey Hills and who share the values of supporting the local community’.

The Rt Hon Michael Gove MP, Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs said:

“The Surrey Hills Trade Mark awards play an important role in celebrating the high-quality products and services the area is renowned for, and the awardees all deserve our congratulations.”

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Join us on August Bank Holiday!

We are exhibiting at the Edenbridge & Oxted Agricultural Show this coming August Bank Holiday weekend (26th & 27th August 2018. Paul will be undertaking a Wattle Hurdle Making Demonstration and we are taking bookings for our Autumn/Winter training courses and will be offering a special 10% show discount to those visiting our stand!

The Cranleigh Show

The weather is set to be hot as we gear up for exhibiting at The Cranleigh Show this coming Sunday 1st July. Paul will be undertaking a Hedgelaying demonstration and will be  happy to answer any questions you may have! We have began taking bookings for our Autumn/Winter training courses and are also promoting Summer Craft Workshops and orders for our Hazel Wattle Hurdles and Arch’s are growing steadily so if you want to know or have a project in mind do come along and say hello!

Artisan Market

We are pleased to be exhibiting our products and services at this new local Artisan market on Saturday 26th May. Paul will be demonstrating his Wattle Hurdle Making skills and Lorraine and Debbie will be selling a range of crafts made from wood coppiced locally.  Do come along and say hello and find out more about our various training courses and craft workshops!

Cow Pie Show

Sunday 13th May 2018 – Blue Anchor Farm, Blindley Heath, RH7 6JLyoung-farmers-header

This is a show not to be missed, last year we attended as visitors and this year we will have our own trade stand and be demonstrating the skills of Hedgelaying, Hurdle Making and Obelisk Making too! We hope you can join us.

 

Come by our stand at The Blindley Heath Heavy Horse & Country Show

Come along and visit our outdoor exhibition and trade stand at The Blindley Heath Heavy Horse & Country Show – 6th & 7th May 2018 – South of England Centre, Ardingly, West Sussex . A selection of hand made, bespoke Country Crafts will be on sale, you can pre-order your items for collection at the event if desirable.

Paul Matthews will be demonstrating the skill of Hedgelaying and/or Hurdle Making and will happily answer any related questions you may have.

 

Changing styles at the Nationals!

In the middle of the Wiltshire countryside, early on the morning of Saturday 28th October, professional Hedgelayers from all over the UK gathered together to participate in the 2017 National Hedgelaying championships.

 

It was a fresh and misty morning but this soon turned to sunshine and initially a light breeze, perfect weather for Hedgelaying! Paul Matthews, one of approximately 110 participating cutters, a 3 times winner of the South of England Open Class and also honoured as the 2015 Supreme Champion made a decision to change styles, choosing to enter the Midland Intermediate Class!

“It is a different story when you change styles”, suggests Paul who following the 5-hour competition was so surprised to go on to win both the Midland intermediate class followed by the best overall intermediate cutter!

The length of hedge (cant) for each cutter entering the competition is 10 yards and some struggled to finish in the allocated time. The hedges were fairly dense in places and therefore required lots of cuts (pleaches) to lay. In addition as the winds increased throughout the day residue materials cut from the hedge began billowing around and had to be retrieved and some cutters including Paul also had to manoeuvre and lay the hedge around strategically placed bird boxes supported on wooden polls!

Paul changed his cutting style for this year’s competition in order to continue to challenge himself. Over the centuries each style has developed differently, depending on available materials, different requirements and customs of the region, therefore, to become a winning Hedgelayer in a new style takes time and practise to learn the techniques required of the style.

The main differences between the Midland Style (also known as a Bullock Hedge) and South of England style are very visible. In the Midland style the brush is only on one side, the side that would be either facing the road or toward the arable land (animal side), whereas for the South of England style it is on both sides. In addition, the stakes are driven in as the cutter moves along the hedge, rather than after the hedge has been laid, and the binders are twisted together before they are woven around the stakes. Apparently, the reason for this is that the binders need to be very strong for the Midland style so that bullocks cannot twist them off with their horns!

When the horn sounded and the competition came to an end it was time to step back and let the judges do their work. This is the part of the day when the Hedgelayers walk around reviewing each others work, providing valued advice to their peers and looking to see if they can pick out the winner in each of the classes. Then all back to the marquee for lunch and a well earned glass of beer for many, Hedgelayers Delight (at least I think this was it’s name) was a popular choice!

The Midland class winners where the first to be announced, everyone was overjoyed that the overall Supreme Champion was awarded to Malcolm Johnson, the Midland Open class winner.

Sharing his admiration Paul remarked that “Malcolm laid a superb hedge and is revered in hedgelaying circles as one, if not the best ever, Midland style cutter we have ever had”.

The awards ceremony bought out the camaraderie between the cutters who are such a supportive group of individuals. Many continued on that evening to the NHLS dinner back at the hotel sharing stories over drinks in the bar until late into the evening!

“It was great to meet old friends and new, this was only my second attendance at the National competition over the past 11 years since meeting Paul, but now as his wife I look forward to returning every year, what a great weekend!” Lorraine Ellery Matthews

 

Join us at the London Harness Horse Parade!

We are looking forward to our first show of the season to be held in Ardingly on Easter Monday: London Harness Horse Parade. Do come along and visit our trade stand to see a selection of our Country Crafts and learn more about the benefits of Hedgelaying.