AGRICULTURE Minister Michelle O’Neill took time out from her busy schedule to visit the All Ireland Hedge Laying Competition, held in Moneymore.
The competition saw skilful hedge layers from across the country descend on Paul O’Hagan’s farm to demonstrate techniques used to regenerate hedgerow.
The Minister said improving the quality of hedgerows in the local countryside helps to enhance the landscape and bring environmental benefits.
“There is considerable skill required in hedge laying and I recognise that there are tremendous environmental benefits to be achieved from this piece of work,” she said.
“Many farmers in agri-environment schemes already carry out hedge laying and I would encourage others to consider this work, which will improve the quality of the hedgerows in our local countryside.
“The result is a hedge that provides food and shelter for a range of birds and mammals and helps to enhance the landscape.”
The competition was organised by the Hedge Laying Association of Ireland.