I also attach a brief 'Judges' account of the Competition in the hope that it may encourage those who took part, to continue to improve.
Improvers Competition 7th January, 2017 Judges report
Seven Competitors lined up for the start of the Competition but, on this occasion the Cutters worked as individuals rather than in pairs. Although this was a Competition, it was treated more as a training day, minus the ‘hands-on’ expertise of the Trainers.
The hedge, mainly Thorn with some Bramble and Rose, presented a challenge to everyone. Indeed, even those experienced cutters – Not involved in the Competition – had difficulties because:-
- The stems were very narrow and ‘straggly (Some could have been cut with a pen knife!) and many lacked the height needed for building even a satisfactory hedge.
- The depth of the hedge was, in some cases, a good four feet or more deep so that Competitors were advised that they had to decide where the centre of their section of hedge should be located.
- Leaf coverage was minimal.
- ‘Building’ the hedge presented its own difficulties.
- Cant No 1 was more of a thicket than a hedge!
Credit must go to all the Competitors for the standard of the finished hedge. There was little in the marks between first and seventh place and, for a group with very limited experience, their pleaching was particularly noteworthy. (Perhaps we can gloss-over the little hic-up with the direction of the binders which will probably be a talking point for some time to come!).
This Competition was undoubtedly a sharp learning curve for all the Competitors!