DRST Hedge Steeping Competition Results…

By Don Gaskins

Hedgelayers came from as far afield as Dorset, the Mendips and the Blackdown Hills for DRST’s annual hedging competition which this year was held at Ham Farm, Loddiswell in South Devon on the 29th of October.

As always the standard of work was high right across the field – particularly in the Open Class where two and a half points covered the first four competitors. Steve Mc Culloch was first, narrowly ahead of second placed Colin Risdon with Mike Reed third and last year’s winner Richard Hooker in fourth place. The Ladies Cup went, once again, to Tina Bath competing in the Open Class.  Local man Chris Stanton won the Intermediate Class with Dorset based cutters Rob Wood and John Sibthorp in second and third places.  Alan Martin won the Novice Class with Josey Field second and Laura Tunstall third.

Peter Yeates, Roger Parris and Rachael Banyard were the judges and prizes were presented by landowner Peet Leather who was delighted with the work carried out.  It’s now down to her partner Karl Hahn to dispose of the mountain of brash! All in all a very pleasant and successful day.

A longer version of this report will appear in the next print edition of Skills.


Hedge planting grants…

The FWAG SW Hedgerows Project, in partnership with the Woodland Trust has officially started and our target is to plant 15,000 metres of hedgerow across the 6 counties of the South Western Region by April 2017. 

The Woodland Trust are offering an 80% grant on hedgerow trees and tree guards exclusively through the project. There is a minimum length of 100m and a maximum length of 1,500m per holding. The hedgerow species mix planted will be the ‘standard mix’ for lowland areas, and the ‘South West upland mix’ for upland areas, with both including 5% ‘tree choice’ for planting hedgerow trees approximately every 20 metres within the hedge, with the remaining trees planted across the rest of the site. The Woodland Trust will provide the hedging plants from their nursery using UK sourced and grown stock.

Hedge steeping at Churchstow…

By Adam Maher

A bright start and a rainy finish to a great hedgelaying course; Held just outside of Churchstow and led by Chris Bond, a healthy turnout of novices and the more experienced worked to reinstate an old hedge back into a laying cycle, with the more accomplished hedgelayers working with beginners guiding them through the process. Although the day was cut a little shorter due to some heavy rain and a muddy field that threatened to bog down the vehicles, the group remained in good spirits with a good length of the hedge laid and a great site to return to and work at another day! 

The next course is hedge laying at Compton Castle with Mick Jones on the 5th of November. 


Are you looking after your cob building correctly, does it need to be repaired?

Then join us for this special day to get advice from the experts of the Devon Earth Building Association’s working group. They will share their experiences of working with cob which will cover areas such as selecting the right materials; common faults and failures; fixing structural defects and repair in practice.

For details please go to the website of the DRA – click here.


Hedge Competitions

Geoffrey Pitt, DRST member who was taught hedge steeping (Devon Style of hedgelaying) by DRST wins his first Open Class Devon Hedgelaying Competition. The Devon Hedge Group : Devon Hedge Competition 2016 trophy was presented at Woodah Farm on 5th October.

Jeremy Weiss and Magnus McKay came second with a hedge laid at Higher Velwell, while third place was awarded to Steve McCulloch. 

This year’s DRST competition will be held on the 29th of October, at Ham Farm, Loddiswell, TQ7 4RX. If you’re not competing it is still well with coming along, grab some food and watch the competitors. 


Man in hat: “It’s the DRST AGM and SOCIAL BASH this week so come on me laddo lift this bewtee in t’truck an’ we’ll take it doon t’ Buvee Tracey fer this Winsday evenin as a gert lush prize fer the FREE DRAW at the AGM !” …. COME ON all you DRST members show your support for the hardworking Committee and come to the DRST AGM Wednesday 6th July 7.30.See you there. Cheers Tim Roskell (NOT a committee member and coming down from Somerset!) …. and with apologies for the Devon/Somerset and probably a bit of Yorkshire accent !