National Hedgelaying Society


Keep up to date with the latest news about the National Hedgelaying Society, Hedgerows and Hedgelaying

17th May 2017 – Hedges Combat Air Pollution

Cities need to 'green up' to reduce impact of air pollution

The harmful impact of urban air pollution could be combated by strategically placed hedges along roads in a built-up environment of cities instead of taller trees, a new study has found.

The study, just published in the journal Atmospheric Environment, points out that low hedges reduce the impact of pollution from vehicles in cityscapes where there are large buildings close to roads, far more effectively than taller trees. In some environments, trees actually make the pollution more concentrated depending on prevailing wind conditions and built-up configurations.

The study is a collaborative effort by partners from the UK, Europe and USA, led by the University of Surrey's Professor Prashant Kumar, under the umbrella of H2020 funded project, iSCAPE: Improving Smart Control of Air Pollution in Europe.

28th October 2016 – Awards for Young Hedgelayers

To encourage young people to take part in hedge laying events and to develop their skills the NHLS is offering awards of £25 to young novice and junior cutters.

The qualifications for receiving an award are:


Persons under 30 years of age entering a "Novice" class in a competition or training session held by a Local Hedgelaying Group* and who have not previously won a prize as a Novice or other cutter.


Persons under 25 years of age entering Junior or Novice class in a competition, or training session held by a Local Hedgelaying Group*.


  1. *Local Hedgelaying Groups are defined as those which have run similar events in the two preceding years.
  2. Qualifying persons may receive up to six payments in the defining period if they are juniors or two payments if they are in the novice group.
  3. The defining period is for events run between 31st August and 1st May annually until further notice.
  4. Payments will be made at the discretion of the NHLS Trustees, who reserve the right to refuse applications which they consider unsuitable.

To apply for these awards, the local group must write to the NHLS Secretary giving the names and addresses of those they believe to be eligible. The application must be signed by at least two of the organisations administrators.

9th September 2016 – Disappearing Dormouse

The Dormouse, one of the countries favourite mammals is an endangered species according to Ian White a spokesman for the wildlife charity People's Trust for Endangered Species, speaking on BBC Radio 4 Today programme.

Britain's native dormouse has declined by more than a third since the year 2000 according to a new study by the charity. Some of this decline is due to the loss of habitat and changes in the way in which Woodlands and Hedgerows are managed.

At the National Hedge Laying Society we are uniquely placed to help combat this decline with the knowledge and skill of hedge layers to managed hedgerows in a traditional way, which is wildlife friendly.

22nd August 2016 – Brexit & The Hedgelayer

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.

17th August 2016 – New Web Site

Welcome to a completely new NHLS web site!

We have tried to make it as easy as possible to find the information you are looking for. The new style Find a Hedgelayer page allows you to quickly locate a contractor near you. The Diary page contains a calendar of events: training days, local competitions, shows etc.

The Training Course page contains a list of hedgelaying training days run by local groups. If you are interested in learning a particular style then you can search for that directly.

If you have any problems with the site please contact the NHLS Web Site Officer.

6th Apr 2015 – Landscapes For Everyone

The National Hedgelaying Society have joined a consortium of organisations with a shared vision of why our unique British landscapes should be better valued.