With the Chilterns Tourism Network
MARY TEBJE of
WHY not start the Chilterns New Year by developing a new skill?
The traditional art of hedge-laying was once common across the English countryside and many Chilterns hedges still show evidence of previous laying. Originally hedges were laid to create an impenetrable barrier to keep stock in fields and the skill of laying a hedge was once common practice.
However, with modern fencing and mechanical hedge trimming, this traditional form of hedge management is now a much rarer skill.
There are many styles of hedge-laying throughout the UK. On this course, which will take place at Bosmore Farm, near Fawley Bottom, Henley-on-Thames, Oxon RG9 6JJ - you will be taught the South of England style.
Nigel Adams, a local expert hedge-layer with over 30 years experience, will be leading a two-day course on January 17 and 18 during which you will learn to: Clear/prepare the hedge Cut and lay the pleachers Fix the stakes and binders Correctly use and maintain hedge-laying tools and understand the benefits of hedgelaying for wildlife and landowners.
For more, see www.chilternsaonb.org/ calendar/27/1110-Hedge-laying-coursebeginners.html#sthash.PX0sOBzT.dpuf.
The Chilterns have an abundance of activities and adventures that require nothing more than a good pair of shoes and keen nose for the trail ahead. A personal favourite are the woods at Wendover - named after the nearby market town. If you have young children, the adventure playground is perfect and within easy reach of the Cafe in the Woods (which was built by the local community).
There are lots of bike and hiking trails to explore or, if you prefer, you can take your box of paints and set up to capture the lovely views.
The woods attract many species of birds, some of which are seasonal visitors, rare in Southern England, including the crossbill and the firecrest. You are bound to spot a red kite and glider as they ride the thermals created over the ridgeway.
See if you can find the stone monument marking the highest point of the Chilterns which lies within the woods on Haddington Hill.
Please share your top picks for local places to eat in and experiences to enjoy all year round. You will find us on twitter @ VisitChilterns, Pinterest pinterest.com/ visitchilterns and Instagram instagram.com/ thechilterns and if you use the #Chilterns hashtag we’ll share the best of your contributions.