I brought along loads of cake from a party the previous night, so we had a good solid start to the day, which was overcast, but not as bad as it could have been. Our host for the day arranged a portaloo, unheard of luxury.
Anyway we all (mostly) arrived on time and have a look at what was in store this year (Our charity day hedges tend to be on the 'interesting' side). I was a mixed bag, gappy in places, BIG in places. Oh and some bits had been laid before. I managed to blag quite a nice patch of bramble, which is always a bonus.
So the day started with the buzz of chainsaws, and this continued most of the day, while people dealt with some pretty large stuff
I happened to be working on the road side next to Dave Sands who was showing Bernard Warwick the ropes. within what seemed like minutes Dave had finished half his hedge, including a massive pleach, and I was still clearing out and pondering where and how to start.
One of my first plants was a massive Hazel stool, so most of this went on the brash pile. My hedge went down pretty well, it was however a little gappy in places due to a complete lack of material (I did ponder pleaching the Bramble at one point).
Tucked away on the side of the field half the guys were busy standing in a ditch, I think Matthew spent most of the day knee deep in 'water'.
By 11:00 Dave and Bernard were pretty much finished, and I had completed my pleaching, so we were ahead of the game. Most people were well underway, but a few were struggling with either volume of material or massive trees.
Phil Hart had pruned out a massive bit of olive ash (a nice dark streak in the centre of a white outer), never wanting to miss a trick I got him to saw it into manageable chunks which I tucked away in my car boot, with a plan to adze out a few bowls.
Some of the neighbours were a little concerned by our activities (I think they were expecting a little light pruning), so I took them on a tour of the hedge and explained all the processed involved and showed them detail. I don't think I managed to collect any new members, but they did understand what we were up to.
All to soon it was lunch time, and the landowner had fired up the BBQ, so it was sausages and soup all round, washed down with yet more cake and a welcome break from standing in water, or chainsaw art.
Dave was showing people his racing axes, and of course shaving his arm to demonstrate how sharp they really are.
The finished hedge was a massive improvement on what we started with, and the landowner seemed very happy
Our team of plucky hedgelayers had so much fun I collected £420 from them on the day with more to come.
Pictures as always