The outdoor University of Cornish hedging is now open to one and all!

Golden Tree Productions (the team behind the famous Man Engine) has just launched the Outdoor University of Cornish Hedging, inviting one and all to take part in building Kerdroya: The Cornish Landscape Labyrinth by Colliford Lake on Bodmin Moor in Cornwall.

This extensive training programme supported by the Guild of Cornish Hedgers and funded by Cornwall Council and The National Lottery Heritage Fund will pass the ancient craft of hedging to the next generation, giving participants the opportunity to be part of the skilled team constructing the Kerdroya labyrinth.

Built of traditional Cornish hedging with a 56m diameter, Kerdroya is a major new piece of public land art built on a disused carpark site in the middle of Bodmin Moor. When complete, visitors will have a fully immersive experience as they walk a single, meandering path through stretches of artisan stonework celebrating the aesthetics of distinct hedging styles celebrating all 12 sections of the Cornwall Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) in their 60th anniversary year.

Tamsin Daniel, Heritage Service Manager at Cornwall Council, commented: “The Outdoor University of Cornish Hedging will address the dire shortage of expertise in the preservation of existing hedges and the building of new hedges, in the styles that are unique to each area of Cornwall. The project will transfer skills to a wide pool of people, providing employment and training opportunities whilst ensuring that there is a new generation of people across our community safeguarding the future of Cornwall’s hedges, truly a cultural treasure.”

There are 2, 5 and 10-day Lantra accredited training courses available, as well as the full Guild of Cornish Hedgers Advanced Certificate in Cornish Hedging. All courses will be run by a qualified, fully trained Guild of Cornish Hedgers professional with exceptional teaching ratios of 1:6 and 1:4. Members of the public can book themselves directly onto courses and organisations can email for custom dates and group discounts. A number of pre-allocated funded places will be delivered in partnership with the Department for Work & Pensions and local colleges.

“Thanks to funding from Cornwall Council, Cornwall AONB, Arts Council England, The National Lottery Heritage Fund, Cornwall Heritage Trust and FEAST we’ve completed the groundwork and set the ‘grounders’ (Cornish hedge foundation boulders),” explained Will Coleman, Artistic Director of Golden Tree and pioneer of the project.

Will continued, “We are now inviting one and all to join us at the Outdoor University of Cornish Hedging to finish creating Kerdroya, a living testament to culture, habitat and skill. Not only can you be part of building one of the largest classical labyrinths in the world, you will be part of a project that will support tens of thousands of species of insects and pollinators, plus 600 types of flowering plants – it’s a deep investment in Cornwall’s future! Y’gan keow y hwhelir anethow! (Cornish hedges are one of our great-unsung wonders!)”