All-Ireland Hedge Laying Championships 2023

The results are in from the All-Ireland Hedge Laying Championships 2023!

Overall Champion: Robert Hogg
Overall Runner-Up: Steve Bass
Best Novice: Brendan Reddin
Best Regrowth: Adrian Fitzpatrick
Most Improved: Robert Hogg
Best Binders: Steve Bass

A huge thank you to all our skilled competitors and organisers, Norman, Anne and Clive – without whom the Championships wouldn’t exist! We’re also grateful to our hosts, Millbank Farm and our judges, Roger Parris, and Russell and Mandy Woodham. The day was made better still by our exhibitors – and the donkeys!

Our exhibitors included:

  • Artist and sculptor, Owen Crawford, who worked live on a wood carving piece.
  • A showcase of Ireland’s handweaving and spinning heritage by Born In A Field. In addition to demonstrations and Q&A, they had a range of our pure wool handwoven Donegal Tweed items available to purchase.
  • More hand spinning with Maureen from Hook Yarn Spinner.
  • Musician, storyteller and writer, Willie Drennan.
  • Leatherwork with The Irish Saddler.
  • Woodworking and handcarving with Mícheál of Fiach Rua Timber Crafts, who demonstrated handle making and axe use.
  • A look into honeybees with Mervyn Warrington from the Killinchy Beekeepers Association.
  • A chance to learn about nature with Ulster Wildlife.
  • Scything and display of traditional countryside tools with Andy the Scythe Guy.
  • Husqvarna agents, McIlrath and Son
  • A display of vintage tractors and other machinery!

Check out this lovely article about the Championships in the Westmeath Examiner: click here to read. What a lovely piece about hedge laying and celebrating Robert’s success in our recent Championships! And also highlights the community around this traditional craft, which is an important part of our monthly members’ meetings – sharing knowledge and building friendships.

  • Our judges, Russell Woodham (brown trousers, white shirt, blue gilet) and Roger Parris (green wellies, black trousers, green jacket, paddy cap, grey beard), assess each competitor's stretch of laid hedge. They're standing in front of a laid hedge with stakes and binders. In the background is a treeline and a hill with hedgerows.
  • Robert Hogg (black t-shirt, grey trousers, and short dark hair), our Overall Champion, holding the perpetual Paul O'Hagan Trophy and smiling. He is standing alongside our judge, Russell Woodham (grey trousers, white striped shirt, green tie, navy gilet), who is holding a bottle of Hedgerows Ireland's 'Hedge Slayers' beer and smiling.
  • A person in a striped navy top and a cap weaving binders in between stems on a laid hawthorn hedge. In the background, there is a grassy hill with hedgerows and a white house.
  • A person in a blue shirt and orange helmet laying a hedge using an axe. In the background, there is a grassy field and trees.
  • A person in a blue coat and trousers and safety glasses laying a hedge. In the background there are grassy fields with hedgerows and white houses.
  • A person (black trousers and t-shirt and orange hi-vis helmet) laying a hedgerow with brash from the hawthorn tree with red haws in the foreground.
  • A person in a green t-shirt, black trousers and grey gloves sharpening an axe on a stubble field. There are people standing watching in the background.
  • A person (green cap, green t-shirt, black trousers) is sharpening a stake with a billhook on a stubble field. There is a laid hedge in the background.
  • Two donkeys pulling brash from the hedgerow along a stubble field with two people in paddy caps walking behind. In the background, there are people standing watching hedge layers work on their section of the hedgerow.
  • Two people (black trousers, grey tops) are throwing axes at wooden targets on a stubble field. In the background are hedgerows and a brown house.
  • Old tractors displayed on a stubble field with trees in the background.
  • A wooden sculpture of a face is on display in front of a hedgerow.
  • A person with brown hair, white shirt and green dungarees is preparing a spinning wheel. There is a bag of wool to the left of the wheel, a traditional wood turner to the right, and a trailer with other tools on display in the background.
  • Stall of "Born In A Field Handweaving". One person in a pink scarf and black cardigan standing behind a table full of handwoven pieces. On the left there is a person (long brown hair, grey sweater and colourful scarf) spinning sheep wool into thread.
  • Old tools and clogs displayed on top of a car.
  • A display of axes by Fiach Rua Timbercrafts.
  • Willie Drennan (white shirt, black waistcoat, black trousers) playing a big drum hung on his shoulders. There are two people dressed the same playing the guitar in the background. They are inside a marquee with a wooden floor.