This month’s front cover of The Land Girl was drawn by J.M.Thomas. The November 1946 edition of The Land Girl shows a member of the Women’s Land Army laying a hedge. Laying a hedge was not an easy job. Hedgelaying is the process of:
- bending and partially cutting (pleaching) through the stems of a line of shrubs or small trees near ground level
- arching the stems without breaking them, so they can grow horizontally and be intertwined and contain livestock in fields.
Women needed to make the upright stems of the trees smaller. The line drawing shows a woman trying to cut away the wood on one side of the stem, so it is kept in line with the hedge overall. The illustration captures this younger recruit in the moment – the drama of lifting the axe ready to fell. The drawing showcases, quite dramatically, the hard, physical labour and skill expected of recruits when carrying out this task.