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cherry picker hire yew trimming

For most homeowners, trimming the garden hedge is a relatively simple and risk-free task.

But for Lord Bathurst - whose 300-year-old hedge is a colossal 40ft tall and 15ft wide - the job requires a cherry-picker and takes a staggering two weeks to complete.

The gigantic yew-hedge, at the Bathurst Estate in Cirencester, is the largest of its kind in the world and is tackled every summer by a brave two-man team.

The job costs £6,000 to complete but the estate is paid 35p by cancer research for every kilogram of trimmings they produce.

This is because the needles of the European yew tree are used in the process of making a chemotherapy drug called docetaxel (Taxotere).

Forest manager Keith Mills, who oversees the job, said it usually results in a tonne of trimmings being carted off to cancer research.

Lord Bathurst's ancestors have kept the mansion and its grounds in good repair for nine generations, with the estate and the 150-yard hedgerow dating back to the 17th century.

He said: 'It runs right along the front of the house and you can actually see it from the town as it's taller than the wall.'

Before they had the advantage of using modern equipment, gardeners were forced to climb rickety ladders to reach the top of the topiary.


By Jack Crone for MailOnline