Hedgesteeping at Woodah Farm

By Laura Tunstall Murray

The DRST was blessed with a rain free day on Saturday’s course at Woodah, the Devon Wildlife Trust’s farm near Doddiscombleigh. It was a busy course with 20 people altogether including chainsaw helpers, who were let off lightly due the size of the steepers. An unusually quiet day without the whhhhr of chainsaws!

The hedge varied quite widely with dense holly at one end with a couple of elms feeding through to hazel and onto a mix of black and hawthorn. The steepers were quite small due to the age (reckoned at somewhere around 8 years) making it an ideal hedge for beginners. Certainly it was nice break from what has seemed like a winter of thorny hedges.

Considering the ominous forecast we were very lucky, the day was a little blustery towards the end which can make cutting steepers a bit tricky in an exposed spot. A big gust can rip the steeper off once the pleach becomes thin.

An impressively large length was completed at the end of the day, in fact instructor Nick Dawe reckoned it was the longest length ever he ever seen completed on a course. All in all a good day with a lot achieved.

The next course in on the 5th of March, hedgesteeping at Billany, near Dartington.

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