Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Hedgelaying Course - Ireland

The weekend before the Kerry Way Walking tour I ran a weekend hedgelaying course on the Manche Estate for the Irish Natural Forestry Foundation

I'm only one of six qualified hedgelayers in Ireland and a member of the Hedge Laying Association or Ireland. There were only four booked on the course which meant it was easier for me to make sure they all got some supervised training. As they introduced themselves I eyed up their clothing and boots making sure they were adequate for the purpose. Peter, a doctor from Dublin had the added protection of eye protectors, something a colleague of mine had discussed previously whether these should be made compulsory on training courses. We compare sharpness of our cutting tools. This is important as without very sharp axes & billhooks you will struggle. They get a quick lesson in sharpening. I quickly got to know the group and the weekend passed quickly. The best part for me was when i introduced them to a relatively easy hedge to lay and just about left them to themselves only interviening when asked or to offer some guidance. Here you can see the result of their efforts. They should be justifiably proud after just 12 hours of instruction. This will almost certainly be the last of my annual training workshops as we are returning to the UK.

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