A prime example of the ancient art of hedgelaying can be seen on a farm at Milcombe – and its creator is 82 years old.
Steeple Aston resident, Tony Clifton has been laying hedges all his life receiving his training from his father when he was in his twenties.
And he shows no signs of slowing down. He started laying the hedge at the end of November and it is now 15 chains long – just over 300 metres.
Speaking to the Banbury Guardian, Mr Clifton said he took on the work to supplement his pension.
He said: “It gives me something to do to keep me fit. It keeps me out of mischief. I’ve done it all my life as I have always worked on a farm.
“My father used to lay hedges when he was alive, but he didn’t use a chainsaw like I do.”
During his working life, Mr Clifton worked on two estates at Great Tew for 54 years where hedgelaying was just one of his jobs.
He said there were not so many people opting to have hedges laid as more people were choosing to maintain their own hedges with hedge trimmers, but hedgelaying competitions in the region were still popular. Mr Clifton used thorns to make the hedge at Milcombe adding: “You have to wear gloves for that or you don’t have any hands.”
Hedges are laid in the winter to avoid disturbing nesting birds.