Tatton Park Rangers Hedge their Bets …

hedge collage

There was no need for Tatton Park Rangers to hedge their bets about achieving a podium place at the annual ‘Cheshire Hedge Layers’ competition, run by the Cheshire Ploughing and Hedge-Cutting Society on September 30th in Frodsham.
The skilful park rangers Clemency West, Richard Dixon and Adrian Bell swept the board in the Intermediate class, also known as Cheshire Class. Clemency was also recognised for the best hedge field re-growth from last year’s competition.
Two of Tatton’s estate team Naomi Fox and Andrew Jennings-Giles entered the novice class for the first time and successfully completed their allocated stretch well within the allowed time frame. Another team member, Alex Pendlebury, the youngest competitor, also competed in the novice section winning a well deserved 3rd place and a trophy for the most promising Cheshire hedge-layer!  Hedge-laying is a traditional craft which requires great skills of agility and strength.  Historically, well managed hedgerows were used to contain livestock and mark boundaries, a tradition that continues today.  Hedgerows are a particular feature of the Cheshire countryside, unlike other counties such as Derbyshire and Cumbria, where dry stone walls have been used to contain livestock.
Competitors are allocated eight yards of hedgerow and have a maximum of six hours to lay the perfect hedge. Judges look for quality craftsmanship; the aim is to create a straight line, laying the stems over at a correct angle to help encourage re-growth.

The Rangers have plenty of opportunity to practise with their billhook and axe at Tatton which has over 2,000 acres of Parkland, agricultural land and woodland.  
Clemency who has been hedge laying for 19 years commented – “It’s a great opportunity to demonstrate and share this centuries’ old traditional country side craft. It takes a lot of discipline and accuracy and is very rewarding to see the end result!”


For further information about this release contact: Vicky Wilby, Marketing Department Tel: 01625 374417 / Email: vicky.wilby@cheshireeast.gov.ukwww.tattonpark.org.uk 
Tatton Park is managed and financed by Cheshire East Council on behalf of the National Trust.
This impressive historic estate receives in the region of 800,000 visitors every year all of whom come to enjoy its Georgian mansion, Tudor Old Hall, award- winning gardens and 1930s rare breeds farm.  The 1,000-acre deer park is home to red and fallow deer and the estate also boasts speciality shops, adventure playground, restaurant, Gardener’s Cottage tea room and year-round events programme. 

The Tatton Park Vision