I’ve got a bit more info on the difference between Fletching which is apparently more like trimming and pletch and stake as done here which is more about the hedge laying.
“In hedge laying, this technique can be used to improve or renew a quickset hedge to form a thick, impenetrable barrier suitable for enclosing animals. It keeps the lower parts of a hedge thick and dense, and was traditionally done every few years. The stems of hedging plants are slashed through to the centre or more, then bent over and interwoven. The plants rapidly regrow, forming a dense barrier along its entire length.
Can’t believe I had the opportunity to see the real deal. Meet Roger. He was just as happy to have someone stop and admire his work. I kept thinking: I’ve heard his voice before. Then it dawned on me that he sounded like Haggrid the Giant in the Harry Potter movies, Lancashire accent apparently because that is where he was from. He was in Wales working on this hedge by the side of the road.
He kindly took the time to show me how you need to make the cut long so it will lay down without breaking the branch. And then trim the part left sticking up to make it tidy like a good craftsman would. And the actual Billhooks he used. Different areas have different styles depending on the type of hedge growing. The ones he had were old steel which he said was better steel that would keep an edge longer.
As my cousin and I were talking to Roger I come to find out that it was because of one of these Billhooks that my cousin has no little finger on one hand, an accident when he was a child.
So if you ever want your hedge laid or maybe even someone to show you how, here is his business card.