All-Ireland Hedge Laying Championships

Hedgerows Ireland is delighted to announce the 2023 All-Ireland Hedge Laying Championships, taking place on Saturday 7th October at Millbank Farm, 11 Mill Road, Killinchy, Newtownards, Co. Down, Northern Ireland, BT23 6PG. The Championship starts at 9am, and continues to approximately 3.30, with prize-giving at 4pm.

This year – as always – the Championships will take place on a working farm, with plenty of space, activities and demonstrations of hedge laying and proper maintenance. Learn more about hedge laying here. It will be an opportunity to meet other people passionate about hedgerows and learn from experts at work.

Sign up as a competitor:

Sign up as a general attendee:

Check out our video of the 2021 All-Ireland Hedge Laying Championships here:

About Hedge Laying:

Hedge Laying is an ancient craft, developed over centuries. With over 500,000 miles of native hedgerows in Ireland, Hedge Laying provides the best approach to rejuvenate and manage a valuable part of our environment and heritage.

Irish hedgerows – some over 1,000 years old – provide important habitats for many species of insects, small birds and mammals – and are crucial for maintaining biodiversity.  In addition, when properly maintained hedges provide low maintenance stockproof barriers and can survive indefinitely while creating an important source of carbon sequestration.

Hedge Laying is the art of cutting hedgerow stems partly through near ground level so that they will bend without breaking and will continue to grow. The laid stems are arranged to form a stock proof barrier. New growth comes from below the cut, rejuvenating and thickening up the base and over the following years the new growth becomes the new hedge. This process if carried out regularly (approx. every 20-30 years) can extend the life span of most hedgerow species almost indefinitely.

This process, along with coppicing (cutting trees back close to ground level) takes advantage of the broadleaf tree species ability to make new growth after being cut back. Both laying and coppicing are methods of rejuvenating a hedge.