The National trust guys had been busy clearing out wire, but there was still a lot of it and I think most people managed to hit a bit a some point :-(
The cants were arranged with the experts working on the really gnarly parts, and the trainees in the middle on a reasonable section, and finally the members out for a bit of practice down the far end of the hedge. The hedge itself was mostly Hazel, with some blackthorn and some turkey oak, it was on the top of a slight bank on the road side, which was nice and dry. the field side was very wet so pretty much everyone cut from the road side.
We had an interesting mix today, with new trainees, 4 teams in the competition, some guys from Plumpton on their first day out, some rangers from Scotney having their first outing and the usual suspect from the society getting their eye in for the competition (the Comp hedge is the next one along from where we were cutting today).
The weather stayed nice, and we had an incredible amount of people out for a Saturday walk who were intrigued by all the goings on.
Our judges for the day were Gary and Peter who kept the trainees on their toes, in fact they all did very well and managed to get their sections completed way before most of us (we did do a bit of chatting and tea drinking), the Improver's shield was won by Lee Bassett working on his own (which is becoming a bit of a theme, as last year it was David Dunk. A few years back when I won there were three of us, I guess we were just softer back then.
This is Gary explaining the finer points of correct stake location
Thanks to our hosts the National Trust and especially for the clearing out and with help ferrying people and tools to and from the carpark.
Next event is the President vs. Chairman Competition then were back to Scotney for the Annual Competition.
Pictures of the day are all on the flickr site as usual https://www.flickr.com/groups/sehls/ Please feel free to add your own directly or send them to me and I'll pop them up.