Finding a hedgelayer

What to ask a hedgelayer

Grants for hedgerow management

First find your hedgelayer.......
Contact me first especially if you live in Bedfordshire, Buckinghamshire or Hertfordshire.
Work further afield is also possible where there is several days work - don't be shy to ask!!!

From the Diary of a Hedgelayer entries you can see examples of my work.  Specifically, I offer:

  • Over 18 years professional hedgelaying experience
  • I am accredited by the National Hedgelaying Society, accreditation number BLI001-060
  • Surveys and quotations without obligation
  • Hedgelaying for both farms and gardens
  • Public Liability Insurance
  • National Proficiency Tests Council Hedgelaying and Chainsaw certification
  • To tell you if your hedge isn't suitable for laying and what management is appropriate
  • To tell you if your hedge is best left a few years before being laid
Look for hedgelayers advertising in local newspapers
Look in the Yellow Pages under Garden Services and Agricultural Contractors
Look for advertising signs put up by laid hedges or find out who has laid other hedges locally
If there are hedgelaying competitions in your area go along and find a local competitor
Visit the National Hedgelaying Society website for local hedgelayers in your area

Having found a hedgelayer.......
They will need to visit your hedge to make sure it is suitable and assess the effort required
Ask to see photos of hedges they have laid (preferably before and after) or look at hedges they have laid
Ask what hedgelaying style they propose and why.  If they give you a blank look, beware!  Local styles should be encouraged as much as possible. 
Ask whether the price includes stakes and binders, if appropriate, and where these are coming from - ideally the hedging materials should be helping to sustain coppice woodland habitats
Ask whether the price quoted includes clearing up all the offcuts - there are always more of these than you think but be aware that this will significantly add to the cost
If it is a large overgrown hedge then there should be plenty of useable firewood.  Make it clear if you want this yourself and that you want it cut to length and stacked separately.

Possible sources of grant assistance.......
If you are looking for financial help to have a single hedge laid, the only likely source of assistance is your local council's Countryside Management department.  Depending on their individual policy, they may or not be able to provide some assistance or at least indicate any other sources of possible assistance they know of.  They are only likely to help if the hedge is a prominent feature in the local landscape visible to the population at large, for example there could be a public footpath nearby.  If you succeed in getting assisance to meet hedgelaying costs, please let me know.

At the time of writing, April 2010, there is very little assistance available specifically for hedgelaying.  The only nationwide scheme is Natural England's (the new name for the relevant part of the
Department of the Environment Food and Rural Affairs' (DEFRA)) Environmental Stewardship Scheme.  This scheme is aimed at farmers or those with at least an agricultural landholding certificate.  The nature of this scheme is that you get payments for various environmental features that Natural England wish to encourage and this includes hedges but unlike previous schemes, payments are not made for specific landscape management tasks such as hedgelaying.  Those in the scheme receive an allocation of money which they can use at their discretion.  Since hedgelaying is the single most expensive hedgerow management activity, the likelihood is that the amount of hedgelaying overall will reduce.

Link to grant information