David Boyson, from Hartburn, Northumberland, used his 30 years of experience to cut a Midland-style hedge and beat last year’s winner, Peter Gibson, by just half a point.
Competitors had just five hours to cut one of the many styles recorded across the UK, with their finished hedge having to measure at least 3ft 6ins high.
Pitting their skills against each other in open, intermediate and novice categories,, competitors showcased three hedge laying styles – Lancashire and Westmorland, North Somerset and Midland.
After not being placed last year, David bounced back to triumph in this year’s competition. Not only is he the overall champion but he also came first in the open and cutting contests.
Organised by Durham County Council’s Durham Hedgerow Partnership, the competition plays an important role in promoting the benefits and uses of traditional rural skills in the conservation and positive management of hedgerows. Hedge laying helps to rejuvenate an aging hedgerow, enabling it to provide an important wildlife habitat.
Cllr Eddie Tomlinson, Durham County Council’s Cabinet member for housing and rural issues, said: “Congratulations to David on winning this year’s hedge laying competition.
“Encouraging traditional country skills is essential to the continued survival of the county’s thousands of miles of hedgerows, and competitions such as this do a fantastic job in keeping these skills alive.”
This year’s event received support from Lanchester Dairies, the Prince’s Trust and Trees Please.