A Kendal man has won the annual hedgelaying competition run by the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority.
Andrew Kirkwood beat five rivals in the Open Class at the competition held at Gaythorne Hall near Orton in Cumbria on Saturday (3 December).
Judges Stephen Lord and Roger Sedgwick gave second place to Aidan Handley, also from Kendal, with his brother John Handley coming third.
The competition was part of the Lancashire and Westmorland Hedgelaying Association 2022/23 Grand Prix.
During the day seven people were taught how to lay a hedge by Peter Gibson, chairman of the Lancashire and Westmorland Hedgelaying Association. The training event was funded by the Westmorland Dales Landscape Partnership (WDLP), which is supported by the National Lottery Heritage Fund.
Competition organiser Adrian Shepherd, who is Head of Land Management at the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority, said: “We had reasonable weather for hedge laying with light winds and it was mainly dry and bright. Competitors produced a well laid hedge. This is a traditional and completely natural stock proof barrier which will support an abundance of wildlife.
“Many new hedgerows have been planted in Lancashire and Westmorland and across the National Park in recent years, so people with hedgelaying skills are likely to be in increasing demand in coming years. That’s why it was good to see new people being trained alongside the highly skilled competitors; special thanks to colleagues from the WDLP team for their support in helping organising and funding the training element of the event.”
He also thanked the judges; the Leven Hall Farm Partnership including farmer Jim Breary; the Lancashire and Westmorland Hedgelaying Association; and colleagues in the ranger service.