Introduction to Hedge Laying – one day course


 Sat 29/01/2022
 9:30 am - 4:30 pm

Introduction to Hedge Laying – free one day course

Join us on this one day course at the Ancient Technology Centre run by qualified trainers from the Dorset Coppice Group as part of the Chase & Chalke Landscape Partnership Scheme. 

There are two dates available: Thursday 20 January 2022 or Saturday 29 January 2022 (click on the date to book)

Timings: 9.30 – 4.30 with a break for lunch 

Location: Ancient Technology Centre, Damerham Road, Cranborne, Dorset, BH21 5RP 

This FREE course is open to anyone over the age of 14. This very practical course will introduce you to the theory, conservation value and practice of the craft of hedge laying and provide you with a good understanding of the basic cuts and how to lay a hedge using traditional methods.

For more details contact the Chase & Chalke Ranger, Roland Hughes:  

All tools will be provided on the day, but please remember to wear suitable clothing and footwear to be outdoors all day. And don’t forget to bring a packed lunch.  

Hedge Laying

Hedge laying is a traditional country skill that has been in use for centuries. The original aim of a well-laid hedge is to create a ‘living fence’ to stop sheep, cattle and other livestock from wondering away. When you lay a hedge, you generate new tree growth and increase the habitat value of the land. They act like long, thin strips of woodland – creating sheltered low habitats for plants and birds. Animals can use hedges to travel between habitats. Once laid, a hedge only needs regular trimming and it will last for decades.

This Hedge Laying course is part of our Wonderful Woodlands Project which aims to train young people and adults in the skills of woodland and tree management. The course will give you a practical understanding of the traditional method of creating a hedge. This is done by a process of using live tree stems and a variety of tools.

Why would it be useful to go on this course?

  • You’ll learn how to lay your own hedges
  • Hedge Laying Skills could be used as part of a woodland based business
  • You’ll meet new people
  • A day outdoors has positive effect on mental health and wellbeing
  • You’ll be able to pass on the techniques you learn to others

Traditional Hedge Laying

The techniques of hedge laying vary from region to region, this is due to the fact that the type of tree, the stock that were grazed, even the tools that are used vary from area to area and result in slightly different end results. However the basics of hedge laying remain the same. Dorset style hedge laying produces lower and wider hedges, as sheep were the main livestock in the region.

Hedge laying is a seasonal task that is carried out between October and March. This is when trees and shrubs are dormant, and birds are no longer nesting.


These courses are provided by the Chase & Chalke Landscape Partnership with funding from the National Lottery Heritage Fund.  

Chase and Chalke and Heritage Fund logos

sketch of people out in the countryside


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