National titles for hedgelayers

PUBLISHED: 12:25 04 November 2008 | UPDATED: 14:47 20 April 2010

SEVERAL members of the Blackdown Hills Hedge Association claimed national titles for their traditional country skills.

SEVERAL members of the Blackdown Hills Hedge Association claimed national titles for their traditional country skills. Terry Coomb, from Stockland, won the Devon-style title but the judges also chose him as this year's Supreme Champion, having been considered above all the other group winners. It was the first time the top title has been awarded to a hedge-layer from the south west. Terry, who works as an agriculture and forestry contractor, is the first person to win with a Devon style. He said: "Things can't get a lot better than this - it's the pinnacle of hedgelaying. I'm very pleased that our local style has been recognised - it's great for the morale of everyone out there doing it". National Hedgelaying Society secretary Allan Portas said: "Selecting champions is always difficult because you are comparing different styles, a bit like comparing apples and pears, but Terry's hedge was so outstanding that even a novice could have picked it out as a supreme champion". Mr Coomb was one of 57 competitors and supporters who travelled to Hunstanton, 10 miles from the Queen's estate at Sandringham, from Yarcombe. The competition was held on the Saturday, October 25 and was attended by many hedgelayers from across the country. Other members of the BHHA to achieve success were Stuart Drew, who came second in the Devon-style category, with Roger Parris, Alan Young and George Pidgeon winning third, fourth and fifth places in the same section. Mr Parris, who won the category last year, was also awarded the cup for the best re-growth. Tom Aplin, from Stockland, won the young farmer award for the Devon-style competition and went on to be awarded the best hedgelaying young farmer for the UK. John Vickery, secretary of the BHHA, said: "The competition was once again of a very high standard and judging was difficult, given the quality and experience of the competitors taking part. "These were truly outstanding results for the Blackdown Hills Hedge Association, which promotes the craft of hedgelaying and other traditional crafts in the Blackdowns.

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