anyone else think farmers should be banned from flailing hawthorn hedges?

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  • anyone else think farmers should be banned from flailing hawthorn hedges?
  • asterix
    Member

    guardians of the countryside my arrrse….

    Premier Icon teamhurtmore
    Subscriber

    My father always insisted on proper layering. Still see it a lot in some areas but sadly not as much as agricultural vandalism!

    mattsccm
    Member

    And just how else would those hedges get done?
    And don’t suggest laying. It isn’t economical.

    mcmoonter
    Member

    My father always insisted on proper layering

    At the country park up the roads they layered a Hawthorn hedge, its a thing of beauty and practical too. Its a natural fence cattle cant get through and crops thrive behind its shelter. It’s a crying shame most of the farmers around here grubbed them up.

    We still have a handful of Beech hedges though. There’s a lovely lane near Falkland that’s flanked either side by Beech.

    tymbian
    Member

    Yes…until I went tubeless.

    asterix
    Member

    And don’t suggest laying. It isn’t economical.

    = “I can’t be bothered to do a proper job”

    shifter
    Member

    Looks hideous, I hate it, but the alternative is ridiculously time-consuming. Could cut unemployment in an instant though!

    Premier Icon Brainflex
    Subscriber

    any other option would cost more which would be passed on to the end consumer – you.

    jag61
    Member

    on a cheeky night group ride 14 punctures from one path of 100m. also remember being sat in friends back garden as tractor flailed field edge behind his house…big bang and one of the flail ‘teeth ‘ was embedded in tree next to us, always been a bit wary of the things since.

    rogerthecat
    Member

    Love layered hedges. The time taken to do it properly pays back in less time to manage them in subsequent years. It’s 80% dry stone walls round here but the few hedges about are seldom layered.

    Premier Icon joat
    Subscriber

    Laying a hedge or “plashing” is not a yearly maintenance technique and is only done when the hedge is no longer a barrier. Cheaper fencing has made this form of stock containment redundant now though and to be fair it would never have stopped a determined beast.
    The other option would be to use a large version of a domestic hedge cutter and clear up the arisings afterwards. It doesn’t take a genius to work out how time consuming and therefore uneconomical this would be. Some modern flails have a blower on the body of the machine to clear roads, but these are less effective on muddy lanes and bridleways. So, the only options are to ride where they use dry stone walls instead or wait for the passage of traffic on the road.
    Hope this helps 🙂

    Premier Icon neilc1881
    Subscriber

    Was riding home the other day cursing the swine who had been hedge cutting, then realised it was mine 😉 tubeless gunk in inner tubes is the answer. Or proper tubeless.

    asterix
    Member

    not really joat it doesn’t

    I see flailing pretty much as vandalism

    its not practical to avoid flailed hedges – as you never know where theyre going to be

    I’ve had to replace too many sets of tyres over the years ruined by flailed hawthorn thorns

    if they punctured car tyres I reckon the farmers would be stopped by the lawsuits for damages

    ninfan
    Member

    I see flailing pretty much as vandalism

    So you’d rather see overgrown, hollow hedges with no cover value, and lower biodiversity value?

    Or perhaps no hedgerows at all – and let the birds be damned?

    http://www.ptes.org/files/1354_hedge_cutting_qa_ne.pdf

    Premier Icon Suggsey
    Subscriber

    Just a sign at the end of the road so I could take a different route to avoid the bloody thorns would do or better still a sweeper run after they have been done too!

    Premier Icon joat
    Subscriber

    Sorry asterix, my “Hope this helps” bit was more about why it’s done. I too get annoyed by it despite being a country boy, but cyclists are a long way down the list as to why flailing should be banned. Bridleways don’t have to be suitable for cyclists so we’re flogging a dead horse there. I think farmers can be done for not clearing the road, though I’m not sure if any ever have been.
    Edit, good find ninfan

    Edric 64
    Member

    Or hedges overgrown into country lanes messing up the visibility and width.Flail hedging is a nuisance and the legal side of buggered tyres and liability has been mentioned in the past but I dont think anyone has ever been held liable.

    crosshair
    Member

    I did laugh when the local farmer chose the SUNDAY of the event to cut the hedges near the Brecon Beast 😀

    If they didn’t cut them, you’d be moaning about the overgrown hedges forcing car drivers out into the middle of the lanes creating yet another hazard for cyclists.

    I’m not sure if technically they are responsible for any damage caused by their clippings? I know they are liable for accidents caused by mud on the road.

    project
    Member

    As the farmers get paid per yard of hedge cut, theyll cut any hedge on their land, even hedges in fields that never need cutting,justy to earn some more money.

    Local councils can charge back the cost of cleaning a road after flail hedge trimming has taken place, cyclists can also sue the farmer for punctures,due to the farmer not doing a proper job, and not haveing signage at the start and end of flail.

    Premier Icon faustus
    Subscriber

    It is a bloody annoyance, but you can only mitigate the effects and little else. Tubeless being the obvious one. But it’s worth keeping your eye out for freshly cut hedges, and lifting you bike over a bad bit. I know it’s counter intuitive and we must ride where possible, but I’d rather carry for a bit than fix a puncture or 2. Also, when possible I always follow the most well trodden/driven path, as trail users before you have kind of cleared a line, or made one where punctures are less likely. Tactical approach if you like, but i’ve found that it certainly helps.

    Premier Icon neilc1881
    Subscriber

    I wouldn’t say that hedges in fields never need cutting. If you’ve seen the state a strong lamb will get into if caught in briars for a few hours you’ll appreciate why they sometimes need cutting. It is a last resort, and yes I regularly wander along with my hook pulling what I can, but it gets to the point where you are fighting a losing battle against them.

    asterix
    Member

    So you’d rather see overgrown, hollow hedges with no cover value, and lower biodiversity value?

    Or perhaps no hedgerows at all – and let the birds be damned?

    Now, now I didn’t say anything of the sort did I ! And there’s nothing in that PDF that suggest flailing is better than alternatives. The paper mostly favours less frequent trimming (than annual) which makes sense

    Premier Icon Drac
    Subscriber

    As the farmers get paid per yard of hedge cut, theyll cut any hedge on their land, even hedges in fields that never need cutting,justy to earn some more money.

    Oh dear.

    GEDA
    Member

    As the farmers get paid per yard of hedge cut, theyll cut any hedge on their land, even hedges in fields that never need cutting,justy to earn some more money.

    Tell me where I can get this said money and I will tell my brother and dad there is easy money to be had! Did anyone tell you there is not much money in farming? Yes there is money in “owning” a farm but actual farming is not going to make you rich unless you are very big and very efficient. The “owning” is the key bit that makes you rich and then even then the bank might actually own the farm.

    You might have been told that farmers owe you a living due to all the subsidy that you have been paying them but food security was quite important before the land of plenty which we live in now and probably will be important in the future, for example, when the Saudi’s fossil aquifers dry up. I would not defend everything my farming brethren do but they are trying to make a living in a pretty cut throat low margin business and being “excellent”, in a west coast google kind of way, usually comes with making a shed load of money. So pee off back to the city/suburbs/or country cottage that you bought (pushing up the prices so people who have rubbish paid jobs in the country can’t afford to live there) and crawl back under your rock. Also enjoy your week and remember that Autumn is the time when most farmers get there hedges cut so be prepared for punctures.

    project
    Member

    You might have been told that farmers owe you a living due to all the subsidy that you have been paying them but food security was quite important before the land of plenty which we live in now and probably will be important in the future, for example, when the Saudi’s fossil aquifers dry up. I would not defend everything my farming brethren do but they are trying to make a living in a pretty cut throat low margin business and being “excellent”, in a west coast google kind of way, usually comes with making a shed load of money. So pee off back to the city/suburbs/or country cottage that you bought (pushing up the prices so people who have rubbish paid jobs in the country can’t afford to live there) and crawl back under your rock. Also enjoy your week and remember that Autumn is the time when most farmers get there hedges cut so be prepared for punctures.

    other jobs occupations are available, you really should have tried more at school instead of playing with baby lambs and calfs, and then leaving school to drive a tractor very slowly down major roads.

    Premier Icon Drac
    Subscriber

    you really should have tried more at school

    calfs

    sharkbait
    Member

    There’s a lot of bollox being spouted in this thread. Farmers do not get paid to cut their own hedges, its done because it has to done – not because the farmers enjoy pi55ing you off (although they may do now).
    Asterix, without the trimming the hedges would soon become useless for nesting birds. Shall we just pull the hedges out?

    GEDA
    Member

    you really should have tried more at school instead of playing with baby lambs and calfs, and then leaving school to drive a tractor very slowly down major roads

    I will tell my brother and dad there is easy money to be had

    Spot the clue.

    asterix
    Member

    Just cut the hedges less than every year preferably by layering and never never flail hawthorn

    I’m only picking on that, not attacking farmers in general

    Oh, and if you do flail, clear up the xxxxing mess

    GEDA
    Member

    I just can’t be bothered with Dail Mail style witch hunts. Seems very un-British to me. Please do a bit a research before posting dumb stuff, it just makes one look stupid and NIBYish. Like the people who paste scare stories on Facebook that you can see are a load of rubbish with a simple search on Google. Maybe not as entertaining but you know what? Not everything needs to be or should be entertaining.

    core
    Member

    It’s laying, not layering, and as pointed out, laying a hedge isn’t anything like trimming, it’s done to restore the hedge when the body of it has gone and it’s no longer stock proof. Hedges only get layed when required, which is normally after several years.

    Hedge trimming is an annual activity to tidy them up, I’m sure there would be more gripes if they weren’t done, it improves visibility, promotes fresh growth & thickens the hedge out to some degree, providing better habitat for nesting birds etc.

    The age of hedges, the type/quality of trimmer and the blower (or lack of) will all contribute to the mess left behind, some people are tidy, some aren’t, but the mess is normally gone within a few days. Ride carefully, push, or mtfu….

    Premier Icon bigjim
    Subscriber

    I just can’t be bothered with Dail Mail style witch hunts

    this place is going to the dogs isn’t it, what is going on?! This is the second “anti farmer” thread in the last week or so, as has been said if the hedges weren’t cut people would be up in arms about that instead. Middle class man has first world problem, hysterically calls for ban. Seems to be infectious.

    hh45
    Member

    As the farmers get paid per yard of hedge cut, theyll cut any hedge on their land, even hedges in fields that never need cutting,justy to earn some more money.

    Local councils can charge back the cost of cleaning a road after flail hedge trimming has taken place, cyclists can also sue the farmer for punctures,due to the farmer not doing a proper job, and not haveing signage at the start and end of flail.

    I think you are wrong on both counts.

    and its ‘laying’ or ‘laid’ not ‘layering’.

    And lots of farmers and other owners do get their hedges laid from time to time but its not practical for mile after mile. I recall that a skilled person can do 20 yards a day or similar. They do look really good when done but as someone pointed out they still need trimming annually after laying. Just accept it as a part of living in or enjoying be in the countryside. No thorns in London / Manchester / Luton etc..

    ninfan
    Member

    Just cut the hedges less than every year preferably by layering

    You do know that you lay hedges periodically, like every 15-50 years, and that it serves a completely different purpose from the regular (1-3 year) cycle of trimming?

    ie. a hedge that gets laid still needs to be trimmed regularly in-between.

    well maintained hedge:

    Poorly maintained hedge

    Premier Icon Drac
    Subscriber

    I think they missed that bit when they seen Matt Smith on Country File doing some laying.

    asterix
    Member

    Just as you wouldn’t know stuff about what I do for a living – it’s not surprising if people who don’t trim hedges muddle laying and layering etc

    The point is the thorns left behind are a costly pain in the arse at the least and it would be nice if people would clean up after themselves

    Premier Icon neilc1881
    Subscriber

    The thorns are all gone in a day or two of any lightly frequented road, sooner on a busy one. I wouldn’t say that the cost is overwhelming. If I was faced with buying a road sweeper or a puncture repair kit I think it would be a no brainer. If you ride somewhere this is an annual problem them get some latex in your tubes! I know this is stw but really, do we need to argue about this? Like someone said earlier, without regular cutting, our roads would be darker and narrower, you’d soon be complaining if you had to use your lights every day to be seen even in daylight… Or maybe we could invoice the farmers for our electricity use/batteries.

    What a stupid, ignorant thread this is. What came first, hedge cutting or us MTBers? Farmer says ‘Oh dear, if I cut this hedge (with my trusty flail) I might cause some mountain bikers some puncture problems, maybe I’ll do it…..later’
    Give over.

    rusty90
    Member

    Had about 1km of road-side hedging laid a few years back, by an old bloke who mainly used his bare hands and a bill-hook. My son and I helped him and after 2 days we were on our knees with fatigue. Respect to the old time country boys who can do this.
    The hedges have now recovered and thickened up so that they can be properly trimmed by a neighbour with a flail cutter. So if you’ve had a puncture in the Brechfa area it may be my fault.

    andyinthorne
    Member

    wow, some people do seem to be very grumpy about flail mowers! I just avoid trails with hedges from september to december – months ending in ‘R’ are traditionally considered hedge cutting season. head to the Dales – dry stone wall territory 😉

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