The application window for a new subsidised hedge laying training course is now open for Welsh farmers.
Hedgerows are massively important to most farmers. Not only do they assist in managing stock and provide a visual and aesthetic effect on the landscape, but they are also important conservation features, providing corridors of shelter and food for many species of birds and small mammals.
The Welsh Government scheme Farming Connect is offering up to 80% support for farmers completing practical hedge laying courses.
The courses will be delivered this autumn through its network of approved training providers at locations throughout Wales.
The final application window of 2018 for all subsidised Farming Connect training is open now and closes on Friday 26 October 2018.
The training course will cover topics including health and safety; the choice and maintenance of hedging tools and cover a range of hedge species which are suited to the Welsh geology and climate.
Farmers will learn basic hedge laying practices which suit the local style as well as maintenance skills through demonstrations and practice sessions.
Sarah Lewis, deputy director of Lantra Wales, which delivers the Lifelong Learning and Development programme on behalf of Farming Connect, explained why this new course has been introduced.
She said: “Hedgerows are an important part of any landscape; they provide boundary definition, shelter and benefit the wildlife, but to fulfil this role it is important that they are planted appropriately to ensure they are fit for purpose and survive.
“The aim of this new training course, which we’re providing for the first time, is to ensure that every attendee is aware of the need for correct safety procedures in order to reduce the risk of accidents and secondly, that they’ll know how to lay hedges which help regenerate the plants, allowing continuity of growth way beyond their natural age,” Ms Lewis said.
Farmers will need to complete a Personal Development Plan (PDP) before submitting a funding application form. For more information visit Farming Connect.