Husband and Wife team and co-founders of Hedges & Hurdles, Lorraine and Paul Matthews are passionate about sharing their knowledge and skills with others, encouraging people to discover a newfound love for nature and the outdoors!
“We offer “Experiences”, including hands-on Wood Craft, Willow Craft and Bushcraft workshops delivered throughout the year through to Hedgelaying and Wattle Hurdle Making training courses, heritage skills undertaken during the autumn and winter months.“
“The outdoor experiences we offer are suited to adults and teenagers, families and groups. Courses are adapted to suit private parties, corporate team building events, WI members, horticultural societies, Scouts and Guiding groups.”
The two-day training course takes place in Fetcham and Reigate and is open to men, women and children over 10 years old. You will learn the traditional skill of coppicing and Hedgelaying using authentic tools, learning from Paul Matthews an award-winning hedgelayer! Individual bookings and private groups can be facilitated. This course is great as a team-building activity!
We live in Redhill but run our training courses and workshop experiences from various locations in and around the Surrey Hills and Sussex, including the following:
• Priory Farm Estate, South Nutfield, Redhill, Surrey
• Birtley Woodland Art Space, Bramley, Guildford, Surrey
• Grow At The Skim, Reigate Heath, Surrey
• Sussex Prairie Gardens, nr Henfield, West Sussex
Paul is an experienced tutor, national award-winning hedgelaying professional; and experienced horticulturist. Hedgelaying is a management solution for overgrown hedges widely practised throughout the UK and Europe. Hedgelaying improves the overall structure and strength of a hedge providing protection for crops and wildlife.
Lorraine is skilled at making handmade crafts from wood she coppices and harvests locally and combines these skill with her experience and ability to deliver personable, varied and interesting workshops and training courses for all. Lorraine made a huge career change to join Paul and has never looked back. They both continue to further develop their skills to offer new and exciting courses for their customers to experience!
A video by Luke Whatley-Biggs of Photography Possibilities – the Surrey Hills Enterprises Young Entrepreneur of the year
Our adult courses are suitable for individuals, private groups and corporate team building events!
Our family workshops are also great for individuals and private parties and offer a unique experience for those being home schooled!
If you have your own venue or land we may also be able to offer the course on your own site! Contact Lorraine@hedgesandhurdles to discuss your requirements.
Hedgelaying & Coppicing Training Courses
Hedgelaying is a management solution for overgrown hedges widely practised throughout the UK and Europe. These one and two-day courses are open to men, women and children over 10 years old.
You will spend day one learning how to coppice for binders and cut wood for the stakes, preparing them ready for use. You will be laying between 8 to 10 yds of hedge. All hedges will be laid in the South of England style, a double brush hedge.
Hurdle Making & Coppicing Training Courses
Following an introduction to the course, you will spend day one learning how to coppice the hazel rods used to make the hurdles and prepare them ready for use. On day two using the rods you will learn how to cleave the wood and weave it into a fencing panel or screen and if you have room on the roof of your car you are welcome to take your finished work home!
Wood Craft Workshops
Join this outdoor craft workshop under the guidance of tutors Lorraine and Debbie. This is a full or half day workshop hosted at a picturesque lakeside location within Priory Farm, Nutfield. We have various catering options available, you will learn new skills and take home your hand made crafts.
Hen In The Woods
Release your inner creativity with a memorable outdoor experience suitable for Hen Parties or just a group of friends who wish to have fun! Design and make you own bespoke wedding accessories whilst participating in a fun filled outdoor ‘experience’ set within the beautiful surroundings of Surrey Hills.
Obelisk Making Workshops
Join a morning or afternoon outdoor craft workshop and make a Hazel & Willow Obelisk (plant support) you can be proud of!
Working in the Surrey Hills
Paul and Lorraine are keen to promote environmentally friendly best practise when working in the countryside to encourage nature recovery and help increase biodiversity in our woodlands and hedgerows. Hedges & Hurdles are commissioned by private landowners and organisations such as the National Trust and Surrey Wildlife Trust as subject matter experts and undertake essential Hedgelaying and Coppicing work.
Coppicing of Hazel, Chestnut and Willow is on occasions undertaken by volunteers under instruction, this type of activity is run at various locations around Surrey Hills. Volunteer events are promoted via Hedges & Hurdles website and facebook events calendar and take place during the winter months between October and March.
“We are lucky to be situated in the Surrey Hills, an outstanding area of natural beauty and have developed some exciting collaborations with like-minded individuals and organisation who also provide us with beautiful locations to work from.”
In 2020 Lorraine joined forces with Ruth Wheeler a fellow Surrey Hills Enterprise member to welcome individuals, families and community groups to spend time tapping into their inner creativity and in learning new skills in mindful, relaxing and welcoming workshops at the new Birtley Woodland Art Space at the Birtley Estate in Bramley, Guildford. Working with various artists, wood crafters and wellness professionals Lorraine and Ruth will offer a varied programme of events throughout the year.