Hedgelayers from across Europe to compete in Rother

A HEDGELAYING competition will attract competitors from across Europe this weekend

Following a successful competition at Sedlescombe back in February, Battle man John French - a specialist in edged tools and a member of the South of England Hedge-Laying Society - is holding a second competition at Rocks Farm, Westfield, on Sunday (November 4).

Competitors so far number 17, four of them from the Netherlands.

Before the days of fences, a hedge was the only means available to a farmer of confining his livestock to their pasture and hedgelaying was a regular task for a farmer every few years.

Today the importance of hedgerows as a habitat for wildlife is increasingly being recognised and one of the main objectives of the John French International Hedgelaying Competition is to help keep alive the ancient art of hedgelaying and so to restore the hedge to its rightful economic and ecological status.

Styles and techniques of hedgelaying differ not only between countries but also between regions. The competition will be held under South of England rules. Details from juanitofrances@yahoo.co.uk