Devon Hedge Tree Competition winners announced
Glenn, Della and John Bealey from Week Farm near Great Torrington have been awarded first prize in the Devon Hedge Tree Competition.
The competition, which is designed to promote the importance of hedgerows and hedge trees, was held by the Devon Hedge Group and sponsored by The Tree Council, together with The Woodland Trust and local tree nursery, Perrie Hale Nursery.
Glenn is passionate about hedgerows and has planted many hedge trees on his 310-acre beef, sheep and arable farm in recent years.
Glenn said: ‘Increasing the number and variety of hedgerow trees on our farm has benefitted wildlife and the landscape hugely, and I’ve found planting and looking after them very rewarding. The farm is now a much more attractive place, at little extra cost. We are delighted to have won first prize’.
Dr Rob Wolton, Chairman of the Devon Hedge Group, commented: ‘The Bealey family have done a fantastic job encouraging new hedgerow trees on their farm and looking after existing ones. Clearly both they and their hedge cutting contractors Robert Grills and Richard Hookway take great pride in these trees, much to the benefit of both the local community and the environment. Week Farm is an excellent example of how hedgerow trees, young and old, can be cared for within the context of a commercial, profitable, farm business.’
Glenn, together with his wife Della and father John, supported by their hedge cutting contractors, have planted hundreds of new hedgerow trees on their farm and marked many natural saplings and stems so they can be allowed to grow up. They have also restored hedge banks, planted two new hedges and created new ponds.
The Bealeys are actively engaged with the local community and have used their land to host mock battles, as well as leasing ground for football pitches and providing storage facilities for the local scout group.
Richard and Lisa Gray of Priddons Farm, Holne, Dartmoor, received second prize. The judges were impressed by the number and range of native hedgerow trees they have fostered in an area of very high landscape value despite the challenges of high altitude and exposure.
Third place went to Andrew Hendy of Ley Farm, Diptford, in the South Hams and the South Devon AONB, in recognition of the numerous young hedge trees that Andrew has selected to grow on.
Jim and Roberta Powell at Holne Court Farm, Holne; Colin Wakeham, Colston Farm, Buckfastleigh and Geoff and Cathy Pitt, Oaklands, Brandis Corner were each Highly Commended.