Denbighshire County Council Countryside Service’s annual hedgelaying competition took place on Thursday December 15.

This year the eighth annual competition was held surrounding a wildflower meadow at Bodelwyddan Castle.

The Countryside Service are taking on the management of the parkland and woodland at the Castle and plenty of future volunteer opportunities will be held at the site.

Denbighshire’s Countryside Service has with their volunteers put a lot of effort into laying hedges right throughout the county.

This traditional craft allows a hedge to be partially cut and laid down at an angle which results in regrowth of the hedge coming from the bottom and allows the hedgerow to thicken at the base providing a dense habitat for biodiversity and sheltering livestock.

It is an old technique that was historically applied by the majority of farms and landowners as part of their winter boundary management Mechanical hedgerow maintenance then took over but studies have shown how much more effective this older method is for the much needed regeneration of our hedgerows.

Senior Countryside Warden Jim Kilpatrick explained: “Hedgelaying as a volunteer task is always well attended and having noticed the quality of our volunteers work we thought it would be nice to bring out their competitive element with a competition that will also result in a good length of hedgerow being laid in a day.”

Cllr Barry Mellor, Lead Member for Environment and Transport, added: “Hedgerows are essential habitats for wildlife. We are lucky to have a fantastic group of volunteers that really understand this.”

In addition to the volunteers taking part there was also a staff category that includes entries from Bodfari Environmental, North Wales Wildlife Trust, Keep Wales Tidy, Llais Y Goedwig as well as teams from Denbighshire’s various countryside areas.

In total 44 people competed during the day laying a total of over 145m of hedgerow.

The winners were: Mal Edwards and Phil Lewis ( volunteer category ) Vitor Evora and Bradley Shackleton ( Staff Category)

For more information on how to get involved with practical conservation work in the North Denbighshire area please contact Jim Kilpatrick, E Mail  or Tel  01745356197