The Hedging competitors are split into two categories – plashing and mechanical.
Plashing is the ancient art of making a stockproof enclosure. Before the introduction of wire fencing hedges would be plashing to form a stockproof boundary. Usually carried out every 20-25 years the tall hedge plants are cut at an angle three quarters of the way through and then laid down horizontally on top of one another to form a barrier. This is staked and bound traditionally with hazel to hold the layered pieces together. The inter stake binding is the art of twisting long thin hazel or willow stems together to hold the hedge in place. Each County or Region often has its own style of plashing.
Mechanical hedgecutting is the modern way hedges are kept tidy. Modern machines are predominantly a flail cutter mounted on a manoeuvrable hydraulic arm on a tractor. The aim is to produce a good size hedge in an ‘A’ shape that will be able to withstand bad weather and provide a habitat for birds, insects and other wildlife. A well trimmed hedge can be a work of art.
"First time I've been and I entered in the hedge cutting. Fantastic day and good to see some old friends and make new ones." F. Musgrove