Frequently asked questions
How much does hedgelaying cost?
The cost will vary from hedge to hedge. A hedgelayer will need to view a hedge before a quote can be issued.
Where a hedge is very overgrown the time required to lay the hedge will be greater.
The cost of stakes and binders is significant. A hedgelayer will be able to advise whether stakes and binders are essential, optional or unnecessary.
See also How to Find a Hedgelayer.
Do you plant hedges?
No, I'd rather be out hedgelaying.
Do you trim hedges?
No, I'd rather be out hedgelaying.
How can I learn hedgelaying?
Having taught numerous hedgelaying courses over the years, I would advise you to find a course that runs for at least two days to give you the sufficient time to put into practice what you are learning.
Bearing in mind that hedgelaying is seasonal between October and April, you can:
- Contact a local hedgelaying society if you are fortunate enough to have one in your area.
- The National Hedgelaying Society (NHLS) has a Training section where you can search for hedgelaying courses run by organisations affiliated to the NHLS.
- Contact a local hedgelayer who does hedgelaying tuition in your area. The National Hedgelaying Society has a searchable register of hedgelayers which tells you if they train hedgelayers.
You will usually be classified as an employee when learning hedgelaying, requiring a tutor to have employees liability insurance to cover you in the event of a problem. I get round this by doing my hedgelaying training under the auspicies of an environmental charity that already has this insurance in place, most recently The Greensand Trust, a local environmental charity in Bedfordshire.
- Contact your Wildlife County Trust or other local environmental charity to see of they run hedgelaying courses
Where can I get stakes and binders?
If you wish to buy them then you should find a local coppice worker who can supply stakes and binders. A good place to start is Coppice Products which has a register of coppice workers broken down by product so you can search for coppice workers producing stakes and binders.
If you prefer to cut your own, you may wish to contact your local countryside rangers and see if they have any suitable sites where you can cut materials. This is what I do and I cut the stakes and binders I want in September before starting hedgelaying in October.
I'm considering hedgelaying as a career change. What do you advise?
As hedgelaying is seasonal work between October and April you will most likely need another source of income as well. As a hedgelayer, the weather may require you to be flexible in the days you work since high winds, heavy rain or snow may hedgelaying impossible. I suggest you learn and start hedgelaying whilst still in full or at least part-time employment if possible. This is how I started.
I also advise you to at least watch some hedgelaying competitions and then enter as a novice to get a feel for it and to compare your work with that of other hedgelayers. It may take you a while to become sufficiently proficient to lay a reasonable length of hedge in a day.
Do not assume that you will be kept busy hedgelaying just because you are good at it; I remember being surprised when a national hedgelaying champion told me he did not have any hedgelaying work on currently.
I worked with computers in IT for 20 years where, having discovered hedgelaying back in the mid 1980s, I started hedgelaying as a small business on the side. When I left my IT job in 2000, as well as having time to do a lot more hedgelaying, I trained as a yoga teacher having been practising yoga since 1995, .
I generally earn a similar amount from each of my two businesses annually, with the hedgelaying income being more unpredictable and the yoga teaching providing year-round income. The yoga has also really helped me avoid injuries and niggles with the hedgelaying over the years in what is very physical work.