Each regional society brought some trainers and trainees along to take part in a Novice event sponsored by HRH. As most of us had a long trip ahead of us we stayed the night at the Premier Inn at Kings Lynn, which was a great chance to catch up with old friends and talk about the recent National competition.
Sunday morning we gathered at Harpley Dams Farm for a rainy start to the day. The Cants had been measured earlier, but needed making out with the styles and names of each competitor.
In the South of England section the trainers were allocated one or two trainees to mentor and so we set off. Fortunately we had brought our own tools including plenty of chainsaws, as the trainees had a selection of tools ranging from ok to pretty poor, and the hedge was something of a beast.
While we encouraged the trainees to do as much work as possible the stems to be pleached were pretty big (mostly thorn), so a lot of chainsaw assistance was required, however the build of the hedge was mostly in the hands of the trainees. Fortunately after an hour or so the rain stopped and it almost got sunny.
At lunch time HRH arrived to inspect the work, and spent time talking to everyone at the event, after which he had a team picture of all the trainees, and was presented with a small gift from the society.
The hedges were then finished and each style was then judged to confirm 1st, 2nd and 3rd places. While the scores were calculated we had a nice post event lunch and had a chance to see all the finished hedges.
Great day out, which I think everyone enjoyed, lets hope as many novices as possible get the hedge laying bug and continue.
Thanks to HRH, NHLS, SEHLS and all the Trainers for their time
The SE scores to follow
Pictures as always