Monday, December 11, 2023
HomeFarmlifeWill's World: A return to the slicing hedge of farming

Will’s World: A return to the slicing hedge of farming

One of many extra dispiriting facets of getting older is which you can begin to get set in your methods, and thrilling contemporary experiences change into a factor of the previous.

There are notable exceptions to this, in fact, corresponding to visiting the GP in your first routine prostate examination, or investing in a pair of eyebrow hair trimmers.

However usually, life can all get a bit routine once you go 40.

See additionally: Hedgerows and grazing are transition focus for upland farm

Concerning the creator

Will Evans

Farmers Weekly Opinion author

Will Evans farms beef cattle and arable crops throughout 200ha close to Wrexham in North Wales in partnership along with his spouse and fogeys.

However not me, as I steadfastly refuse to evolve to traditional societal guidelines of how middle-aged males ought to behave.

So final week I pushed the envelope and did one thing fully new to me. That’s proper, I laid a hawthorn hedge. Who mentioned rock ’n’ roll is lifeless?

It was solely a brief stretch, and I’m undecided that the completed article could be very fairly, however nonetheless it’s given me an incredible feeling of satisfaction and I loved doing it immensely.

Golden oldie

Earlier than I began, although, I did what everybody does today and turned to the oracle that’s YouTube for instruction.

I watched just a few modern movies earlier than my eye was irresistibly drawn to 1 produced by the Ministry of Data in 1942, merely titled “Hedging”.

What adopted was eight minutes of pure delight, as I used to be launched to an expert Northamptonshire hedge layer identified solely as “Dyton”, and his Land Woman assistant. 

What I would wish, I used to be informed within the no-uncertain-terms type of the instances, was an excellent stout slasher, a billhook, a pointy axe, and a few leather-based mittens. 

It went with out saying that I’d additionally want a rakish hat, a pipe firmly clamped between my enamel, and loads of pure machismo.

Laid hawthorn hedge

© Emjay Smith/Adobe Inventory

The instruments wouldn’t be an issue, I assumed, however I needed to reluctantly admit that the angle and magnificence is perhaps. They only don’t make them like they used to, as they are saying.

Nonetheless, on the finish of the video the commentator made the purpose {that a} well-laid hedge’s “neat look is one thing a farmer could be pleased with”, and that’s what I made up my mind to purpose for. 

I didn’t really want to observe tutorial movies, although, as I’m lucky sufficient to have my very own oracle within the type of the previous man.

He was ok to assist me get began, and I used to be quickly away, misplaced within the rhythm and movement of a job that’s been carried out on farms for a whole bunch of years.

Conscious craft

I do typically surprise if one thing basic has been misplaced with all of the consolation and know-how we’re surrounded by today.

Being bombarded by fixed emails, messages and cellphone calls, as everybody else is, it felt good to deal with one thing like this for some time. I consider they name it mindfulness.

The very nice factor about it’s that this hedge was planted by my grandfather.

He used to put a whole lot of hedges on the farm, and I wish to suppose he would have been fairly proud to see his grandson laying this one 35 years later, although I’m certain there would have been a little bit of “constructive criticism” too.

I considered him all through, particularly as I dealt with the well-worn brief axe that he used so usually for the job all these years in the past; I would even have gotten a little bit of sawdust in my eye at one level.

Anyway, it’s carried out, and I’m decided to do extra subsequent winter. I don’t have a Land Woman to assist me, however I do have an 11-year-old daughter.

We’ve planted a whole lot of new hedges collectively over the previous few years; maybe she’ll lay them someday too.



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