Winners announced at North Cotswolds Hedgelaying Competition

Photo: @ShortTitle@

Twenty eight hedgelayers from across the region took part in this year's annual North Cotswolds Hedgelaying Competition held at Woodlands Farm, Chedworth and organised by the Cotswolds Conservation Board with the support of the National Hedgelaying Society.

Held on Saturday 19 November, five classes of competitors, from novice through to professional – battled it out for the prestigious hedgelaying trophy and cash prize under the expert eye of the judges.

The winners were announced as follows:

  • Open: 1st Steven Leslie from Derbyshire; 2nd Rob Thompson from Nuneaton; 3rd Nigel Adams from Oxfordshire.
  • Intermediate: 1st Tony Wilsdon from Bampton, Oxfordshire; 2nd Hefin Davies from Burford; 3rd John Dunbar from Wolverhampton.
  • Junior and Beginners: 1st Martin Jarratt from Chipping Norton; 2nd David Faulkner from Marston St Lawrence, Oxfordshire; 3rd William Balmont from Reading.
  • Veteran: 1st Clive Matthew from Leicestershire; 2nd Peter Tunks from Surrey; 3rd Tony Heard from Alcester, Warwickshire.
  • Beginners Pairs: 1st Chris Rawlings and Jeremy Bainbridge from Oxfordshire; 2nd Stuart Edmunds & Robert Gascoigne from Thame, Oxfordshire; 3rd Tristan & Terry Hillsdon from Aylesbury, Bucks.

Competition organiser and rural skills officer at the Cotswolds Conservation Board, David Molloy said: "Once again our hedgelaying competition attracted a high level of interest from both competitors and spectators who are as keen as we are to keep this important skill alive, as hedgerows are not only important wildlife habitats but also help to define the distinctiveness of the Cotswolds countryside.”


PHOTO CAPTION: The winning hedgelayers from across the five classes at the North Cotswolds Hedgelaying Competition.

Notes to editors:

  1. The competition was kindly supported by the National Hedgelaying Society.
  2. The competition took place at Woodlands Farm in Chedworth, Gloucestershire.
  3. Competition classes are described as follows :
    1. Class 1: Open: anyone with experience of hedgelaying.
    2. Class 2: Intermediate: those who have not won this class twice or been placed in an open or veteran class.
    3. Class 3: Junior, Beginners and Novice. Juniors are to be under 21 years; Beginners are those who haven’t entered a competition before; Novices are those who have not won this class before, or been placed in an Open or Veteran class.
    4. Class 4: Veterans: competitors who have reached their 60th birthday on or before the day of the competition.
    5. Class 5: Beginner pairs: any two people working on one section who have not entered a competition before.
  4. Competition prizes are awarded as follows:
    1. Class 1             1st: Trophy and £50, 2nd: £30; 3rd: £15
    2. Class 2             1st: Trophy and £40, 2nd: £25; 3rd: £15                 
    3. Class 3             1st: Trophy and £30, 2nd: £20, 3rd: £10
    4. Class 4             1st: Trophy and £40, 2nd: £25, 3rd: £15
    5. Class 5             1st: Trophy and £30 each, 2nd: £20 each, 3rd: £10 each
  1. The Cotswolds Conservation Board organises a number of rural skills courses throughout the year including hedgelaying, dry stone walling, thatching and woodland coppicing. Visit

Cotswolds AONB fact file

• The Cotswolds Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) is looked after by the Cotswolds Conservation Board – an independent organisation with 37 members, 15 nominated by local authorities, 8 by parish councils and 14 appointed by Government.

• The Government has designated Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONBs) and National Parks as our finest countryside and they are recognised as being of national importance.

• The Cotswolds is the second largest protected landscape in England after the Lake District National Park and represents 10% of the total AONB area in the UK. It covers 2,038 square kilometres (790 square miles), stretching from Warwickshire and Worcestershire in the north, through Gloucestershire and Oxfordshire, down to Bath and Wiltshire in the south.

• The Cotswolds AONB is the largest of the family of 46 AONBs in the UK. For further details: