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CAFRE to host hedge-laying courses at its Greenmount Campus

Irish Hedgerow
Blackthorn hedge

Hands-on one day introductory course aims to demonstrate the skills and techniques involved with laying a hedge

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12 January 2023 | 0

The College of Agriculture, Food and Rural Enterprise (CAFRE) will host practical hedge-laying courses at their Greenmount Campus on 20 and 27 January.  These hands-on one day introductory courses aim to demonstrate the skills and techniques involved with laying a hedge.

Robert Beggs, CAFRE technologist explained that “hedge laying is the traditional method of rejuvenating hedgerows to maximise the shelter and biodiversity opportunities that hedges provide on NI farms.  Hedges are particularly important due to the low proportion of woodland in Northern Ireland. Hedges enhance the appearance of the countryside, maintain our traditional field boundaries and provide a valuable habitat for a variety of plants and animals.”

Hedge laying involves partially cutting the stems of the hedge plants and laying them uphill at approximately 30 degrees.  The hedge produces new growth from the base and the laid stems continue to grow over the medium term. This results in a thicker hedge that is better for biodiversity, shelter and is more stockproof.

Ideally hedge laying should be carried out every 15-30 years and is best suited to hedges that are 2.4-3.6m tall and have stems that are 50-100mm thick at the base.  Ash or hazel stakes are then driven in at intervals to support the laid hedge.

Due to the practical nature of these events, places are strictly limited so registration is essential.  Anyone interested in attending should visit the environmental training courses section of the CAFRE website and apply: www.cafre.ac.uk/business-courses/hedge-laying/

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