Thankfully the weather was proper autumn weather, cool with frost, mist and sun, totally the opposite of the pouring rain of 2015.
The description of a challenge would be suitable to describe the hedge, mostly thorn with some very large patches of bramble, and a variety of fencing. This was the section for the SOE classes. With good free draining soil it did mean that underfoot conditions for cutters, stewards, judges and the visiting public were good.
There were three classes for South of England, Open with 8 cutters, Intermediate with 5 and the Veteran with 4 cutters.
It was good effort with some particularly bad draws for David Dunk (intermediate) and Roger Taylor (veterans).
Congratulations to Bill Daniel who won the Open with Nigel Adams in second, Clive Gilligan who won the veterans with Geoffrey Pitt in second and Mark Moore first in the intermediate with second going to David Dunk.
The judges for the SOE classes were John Wilson, Dave Truran and Dick Foulger and the stewards were Helene Threadgold and Chris Burchell Collins.
It was 19 years since Mark lasted competed in the Nationals so well done and a mention also for Mike Mason who was third in the intermediate, not only did Mike get the hedge down in time with hand tools only, he had ridden his motorcycle up from Sussex to Cheshire with his tools on the back.
The NHLS Supreme Champion is a familiar face and name to SEHLS members, Mr Alan Ashby, so well done to him.
Full results and loads of pictures are available on the national hedge laying web site