The lost art of hedge-laying returns to England

The art of hedge-laying pre-dates Roman Britain, a fact documented by Julius Caesar who wrote in 55 BCE, "It was fashioned of slender trees, bent over so that many branches came out along the length...so that it could not be penetrated or even seen through." Modern life has been hard on the hedges, but new interest may save the ancient craft.

In the 1970s, the National Hedgerow Society was formed to help save the remaining hedges and promote the skill of hedge laying. Even competitions to construct new hedges have become popular. "Now, says Robin Page from Gloucestershire, the NHS chairman, business is booming for the hedgers. 'We're seeing more hedges being laid and many more people coming into the profession. It's a much healthier business than it has been for a long time, and the competitions are a way of improving skills.'"