GRAYRIGG'S Thomas Kendal was judged to be the best hedger on the day as Low Wilkinson Farm in Howgill hosted the 11th annual Yorkshire Dales National Park Hedge Laying Competition on Saturday.

The event, organised by the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority (YDNPA) in partnership with the Lancashire and Westmorland Hedge Laying Association, attracted 18 competitors across five classes. The competitors focused their efforts on a 10 year-old hedge.

The results were: Championship: 1 Thomas Kendal; 2 Craig Procter; 3 Peter Gibson. Open: 1 William Bell; 2 John Gibson; 3 Steven Boyes. Junior: 1 James Dodgson; Novice: 1 James Yates-Bell; 2 Sally Capewell and Danny Hodgson; Starter: 1 Pete Stevens; Regrowth from last year’s competition: 1 Heather Swift; 2 William Bell; 3 James Haigh. Best Hedger on the day: Thomas Kendal; Junior best nicking prize: Aidan Handley (winner of Samurai Saw).

The judges were Edmund Capstick and James Postlethwaite, both from Howgill.

YDNPA Farm Conservation Adviser Hannah Fawcett said: “It was great to see so many competitors and spectators enjoying the day, and continuing this traditional skill.

“Hedgerows are an intrinsic part of our landscape, particularly in the western Dales. As well as creating a stock proof barrier, they provide shelter for stock and habitat for wildlife.

“It is also now recognised that hedgerows perform a natural flood management function by trapping water and slowing flow. I’d like to thank the host, Alistair Mackie of Low Wilkinson, who is a member of the Lunesdale Facilitation Farmers group. The group is made up of farmers in the Sedbergh, Garsdale and Dent area who are holding meetings and training events on natural flood management techniques.”