Farming Matters: Hedge trimming is well under way now

Hedge cutting
Hedge cutting
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At this time of year you are very likely to see hedge cutters at work on the hedges lining our roads.

This is the best time of year to trim back the hedges as all the leaves are off and the berries have been eaten by the birds.

It is an important job to keep the hedges trimmed because it enables better visability for road users.

Farmers also trim the hedges lining their fields, because if they left them to grow bigger and bigger they would lose valuable land.

Some hedge work can be done by hand using chainsaws and other equipment, but the bigger jobs require big machinery. And so contractors are often brought in to do the job as they have the specialist equipment required.

In the past it was a major job to collect up hedge cuttings, which then had to be chipped or burnt to be disposed of.

These days most hedges are trimmed with a flail cutter so there is nothing to pick up as the chippings fall back down into the hedge and fertilise it.

Hedge cutting is regulated by the European Commission and must be completed by March 1.