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Does your hedge need restoring?

Updated: Feb 15

A workshop Led by Coppicewood College on behalf of the Hwb Dysgu'r Tir land learning centre in Tegryn.

In our verdant Welsh landscape, hedges are more than mere boundary markers; they are vital arteries of biodiversity and heritage. Preserving these living fences is crucial for maintaining ecological balance, supporting wildlife, and upholding the cultural tapestry of the countryside.

Hedge maintenance plays an essential part in fostering a rich bidiversity, by offering a natural alternative to fences, which often lack ecological value. Choosing the right species and understanding the characteristics of your hedge are key. Techniques such as clearing, planning, stake making, and selecting the right pleacher (the main stem in hedge laying) are crucial for successful restoration. Incorporating dead hedging and other remedial techniques can enhance habitat diversity. Patience is vital in this process, as the true rewards of hedge restoration unfold over time, contributing to the health and overall beauty of the environment.

We're thrilled to announce a collaboration with Coppicewood College, offering an unparalleled hedge restoration and laying course. This unique program offers extensive training in various hedge-related skills, condensed into a comprehensive short course. Taking place at our new grounds of Tegryn, this collaboration with Coppicewood College promises an enriching learning experience. We're eager to embark on this educational journey with them, absorbing their wealth of knowledge and expertise. To discover more about Coppicewood College's esteemed reputation and what makes this collaboration so exciting, please visit their website.

Dates: 24th February & 2nd, 10th and 16th March

Times: 10.00am - 3.30pm.

Please note cost is for all four dates

Location: Tegryn, Llanfyrnach, SA35 0BE

Course Summary

This course will help course participants to appreciate the functional, environmental, ecological and visual benefits of hedgerow restoration and give them the basic skills and confidence to give it a go themselves.

• The course will provide hedge laying tools and instruction - we will use billhooks and saws for the work. The following PPE will be provided: eye protection and hand protection.

• Course students are strongly recommended to provide their own steel toe-capped footwear - but other sturdy footwear is advised if students do not own steel toe caps. Waterproof and thornproof outerwear is also strongly advised.

•Course students should bring their own food for the day (please note there is no shop nearby). Hot drinks will be provided during the day, but please bring a flask and your own mug if possible.

Toilets and weather shelters are within walking distance to the site at Canolfan Clydau. Parking is also available at Canolfan Clydau, to the rear of the building.

Course Content

Day 1: Classroom-based instruction covering:

• Benefits of hedge restoration

• Hedges vs fences: pros & cons

• Legal considerations (Timing, TPOs, protected hedges)

• Terminology

• Tools

• Chainsaw good/chainsaw bad

• Safe working practice

• Cutting and laying

• Sharpening

• Hedgerow species

• Characteristics of an overstood hedge

• Regional styles

Plus – on site. Walking the hedge to assess how to tackle it.

Day 2: On site: Preparation. Clearing the hedge, planning and stake-making

• Removing fencing

• Removing brash/brambles and dead wood

• What to keep for laying, for dead hedging and what to recycle/compost

• Which side to work

• Which way to lay

• Safe working practice on site

Day 3: On-site: hedge laying:

• Practical demonstration of techniques with reinforcement of Day 1 theory

• Opportunity for course participants to practice hedge laying techniques and to lay


• Choosing your pleacher

• Laying from off the line

• Brash sorting and retention

Day 4: On-site: Dead hedging and other remedial techniques

• Large stools

• Laying from the root

• Large pleachers

• Multiple stems

• Laying back

• Layering (plashing)

• Dead hedging

• Planting whips

• Patience


Until the course is fully booked, we have one 'Freedom of Information' ticket available for this course. For a multitude of reasons the world is not always a fair and balanced place. With that in mind, we recognise the economic disparity present and want to help remove financial barriers to learning. We can offer one free bursary place for those looking to develop skills for employment/income in land-based skills and who are facing financial hardship. Our definition of financial hardship is those who are finding it hard to meet essential everyday costs such as food and shelter, those who may rely on benefits or who have been long term unemployed.

To request a 'Freedom of Information' ticket, please email Beccy at outlining why you are eligible and why you are looking to do the course.

This course is supported by funding from WWF through the Pembrokeshire Nature Partnership, and the UK Government Shared Prosperity Fund.

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