So how will Brexit change Hedgelaying? It is perhaps too early to predict any precise outcomes but the indicators are already in place to suggest
some major changes. The price of agricultural land has always been a good barometer of the farm economy. Recently agricultural land prices have taken
a down turn and if this continues it suggest an agricultural depression is on its way. But what’s new, farmers have been on a roller coaster ride
for hundreds of years.
The Government has already indicated that they will continue with Pillar one (Farm Payments) after leaving the EU, although there is considerable
pressure to place a cap on payments for larger holdings. No guarantees have been given regarding the environmental payments and the farming lobby is
anxious to ease the regulations regarding hedgerows. It would seem that the days of substantial grants for major hedgelaying projects may be coming to an end.
Nevertheless agricultural small holdings and Hobby farming is on the increase and the conservation sector remains buoyant. Regardless of the economy
hedges still have to be maintained and I suspect that there will be plenty of work for the hedge trimmers and any enterprising hedgelayers willing to
sell skill training. So get out there and convince the world that hedgelayers are needed.
One thing is for sure, there are many twists and turns to be negotiated along the way out of Europe. Don't panic and keep in mind that modern
agriculture depends on World prices, not on European or British politicians.