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Explore the ideas and practice of
ecologically sound land management in
the beautiful Devon countryside
   
     
 
 
 
 
Courses and Programmes
in 2017 at a glance
 
     
 
The core tutors for the Husbandry Skills courses are Jonty and Carole, of course, along with longstanding team member, Sula. MORE
 
 
 
 
hEarth Skills
 
Hedge Laying (two day course)

Course Dates:
Weekend 14th and 15th October 2017

Time: 10am to 4pm

Price: £120 per person

 

Generations of farmers have been responsible for creating and managing hedges as stock-proof barriers and shelter for livestock and crops for many years. On the fringes of Dartmoor, some hedges continue the boundaries ('reaves') of Bronze Age field systems, some 3,500 years old. The ancient Celts are thought to have believed that the souls of the dead lie in the hedgebanks...

The Devon hedge consists of an earth bank faced with stone or turf which usually has bushy shrubs on the top. They are characteristically very old, rich in wildlife and visually very attractive. Hedgerows in general are known to support a tremendous range of wildlife interest – otherwise referred to as ‘biodiversity’ (i.e. biological diversity). Over 600 plant species, 1500 insects, 65 birds and 20 mammal species have been recorded at some time living or feeding in hedgerows.

Hedge laying is a skill which is being re-invigorated nowadays with farmers being encouraged to return to the ‘old ways’ of hedgerow management. For example, in South Devon, Natural England has been awarding grants to restore and maintain hedgebanks.

On this course - you will learn how to assess a hedgerow for ‘steeping’ ( the Devon term), what woods will bend and flex, when to tackle the job and how to tie the work together. You will learn the way to create the thick and bushy growth of an effective barrier offering significant shelter against the wind, animals, and even your neighbours!

The emphasis will be a ‘hands-on approach and you will leave with plenty of learning materials to take home and use to your advantage. All tools provided.

Course summary
• An introduction to the tradition of hedge-laying.
• How to identify and prepare your hedgerow
• How to boost your earth wall or foundation
• How to cut and shape wood
• How to deal with an eroded or gappy hedge
• How to prepare ‘steepers’

Course numbers are restricted to a maximum of 10 people so there will be plenty of time for your questions and one-to-one attention.

Lunch and refreshments will be provided from produce grown at the Husbandry School, naturally.

 

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Hedge Laying (two day course)

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Traditional farming methods for a sustainable future
 
 
       
 
 
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