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This course is an introduction to the maintenance and construction of Cornish Hedges giving participants the chance to experience the different elements that are required for their construction. The course is very “hands-on” and the emphasis is to learn by doing under the supervision of the instructor. 

The finer details

On this short introductory course, you will contribute towards repairing and rebuilding a section of 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. 

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. 

Having completed the course, you will be able to practice and improve your new skills in your own time. 


Delivery method

Theory and Practical

Who should attend?

Suitable for both beginners and those looking to improve or consolidate their knowledge.

Gardeners, Conservationists, Hobbyists, Landscapers, Farmers and Farm Workers and other land-based workers.



What will be covered?

By the end of the course learners 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 will start with an introduction to the site and the area where the practical building will take place.

This will be followed with 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.
  • The Guild of Cornish Hedgers ‘Code of good practice’
  • 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.

The practical element of the course will be dependent upon the location in which your course is taking place. Your instructors will guide you through the different elements of the hedge that you will be working on, using the local stone, as you have a go at applying them in the construction of the hedge.

Other areas of interest

  • Cornish Hedging Skills - Foundation (5 days)
  • Certificate in Cornish Hedging – Intermediate (10 Days)
  • Certificate in Cornish Hedging - Craftsman Certificate
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