Before barbed wire and cedar rail fences, hedgerows were managed as living fences. There is a balance which needs to be found between allowing shrubs to grow and keeping the hedge from becoming a line of trees, developing gaps and eventually becoming useless as a fence. Hedgelaying is a catch-all term used to describe the rejuvenation of a hedge from the base by cutting and ‘laying-over’ of the tree or shrub.
On this 5-hour workshop, you will learn the basics of hedgerow management through the concept of the hedgerow cycle and learn how to lay a hedge in the ‘South of England’ Style.
We will work in teams of 3-4 guided by an instructor working on a row of existing willow that has been growing at Ignatius Jesuit Centre.
We will start with a summary of the relevant points of the webinar followed by a tool safety talk. We will demonstrate the basic steps in hedgelaying using hand tools (billhook, axe, loppers and bow-saw) and you will learn how to ‘pleach’ (cut) a hedgerow shrub, build the hedge and strengthen it with stakes and binding.
Attendance at Thursday’s webinar, “An Intro to Hedgerows and Hedgelaying” is recommended but not required for this practical workshop. Attendance will be limited to 8 people to ensure good hands-on time for everyone involved. We will maintain a waitlist and potentially open up a second practical workshop the next day, Sunday, November 19.
Jim Jones is an ecologist with 15 years of experience in hedgerow ecology and management, first as an ecologist in the UK and more recently as Manager of the Hedgerows in The Ontario Landscape project at The University of Waterloo, where he is completing his PhD in Social and Ecological Sustainability. He currently runs hedgelaying training courses through the Ontario Land Skills Network.
Sarah Dolamore is the Farm Manager of Mount Wolfe Farm, a family run CSA Farm in Caledon. Sarah learned hedgelaying with a professional hedge layer in the UK and has honed her skills on various hedgelaying projects in Ontario.
What to Bring
Please come prepared for the weather, we will be working outdoors rain or shine. Wear comfortable clothing and sturdy shoes/boots, bring gloves and knee-pads if you have them. Please also bring your own lunch and refreshments. Water will be available on-site, but bring a water bottle.
All tools will be provided.