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This 5-day attendance course is an introduction to Cornish Hedging, giving participants the skills needed to build one of these unique traditional field boundaries. The course is also a celebration of the diverse geology of Cornwall and the different regional styles of Cornish Hedging that this has informed.

The finer details

The course is an introduction to the craft of Cornish Hedging, giving you the foundation skills necessary to build a hedge in the context of a traditional field environment. The course location will dictate the natural building materials, in order to promote and preserve the regional variations of hedges in Cornwall that make the landscape as rich and diverse as it is. Local stone will be used, and the different ways it can be laid in the hedge will be discussed and demonstrated.

By attending this foundation level course, you will obtain a sound knowledge in how to construct a Cornish Hedge to a high standard under the guidance of your instructors. Within the course you will learn how to select and lay grounder stones to form the correct batter to start building a traditional Cornish Hedge.  

You will learn how to select, grade and place stones correctly following the Code of Good Practice to form the correct Cornish Hedge profile. Whilst constructing you will learn how to fill the hedge and ram the earth fill, forming a tight core within the hedge which gives the stability required for a long-lasting hedge.

Finally, you will learn how to turf top the hedge to give it its capping.  

Throughout the course you will learn how to work to best practice, learning the theory behind the methods, putting them into practice and how to transfer these to your own projects.  

Delivery method

Theory and Practical

Recognised by

Lantra Awards/Guild of Cornish Hedgers

Who should attend?

Suitable for those in related professions or sectors i.e. Agriculture, Landscaping, Horticulture or Construction,  

Also suitable for beginners and those wishing to build or maintain Cornish hedges on their own property or voluntary work in environmental conservation.


What will be covered?

By the end of the course the learner will be able to: 

  • Understand the ‘key concepts’ of Cornish Hedging, on both a theoretical and practical basis.
  • Apply the ‘key concepts’ when placing stones and infill into a hedge as the basis for building/repairing a Cornish Hedge.
  • Understand how to safely use the tools used in Cornish Hedging, and associated correct safety procedures.
  • Understand the procedure of Cornish Hedge building – placing Grounders, placing Hedgers, compacting infill and Topping-off – to be able to practice further themselves.

The course induction will include a short presentation covering the following:          

  • History of the Cornish Hedge, why it is unique as well as their cultural and environmental importance.      
  • The theory and method of construction of a Cornish Hedge.              
  • Tools of the trade and how to use them.        
  • Safety talk – It is important that you pay particular attention during the safety talk and take the advice of the instructors during the course.             

Each day of the course will start with a short presentation of the areas to be covered for the day, including elements of theoretical concepts alongside demonstrations of their practical applications. This will give you a full understanding of both how to build a Cornish Hedge, as well as why they are built in such a unique way. These sessions will act as an introduction only, with all points being reinforced throughout the practical elements, which will comprise the majority of the course. Your instructors will always be available and happy to answer any question that you may have.

The day to day content of the course will be dependent upon the area in which your course is taking place. One of the focuses on this course is to embrace the different styles of hedging that occur throughout Cornwall, and the way that the local stone informs these styles to create the rich and diverse contribution to the heritage of the landscape. As such, your instructors will guide you through the different elements of the hedge commonly built in your particular area, using the local stone, as you construct a hedge from the grounders at the base, to the hedgers and turf top that finish the hedge at its full height. 


Other areas of interest

  • Introduction to Cornish Hedging Skills - (2 days)
  • Certificate in Cornish Hedging – Intermediate (10 Days)
  • Certificate in Cornish Hedging - Craftsman Certificate
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