VIDEO: Planting of the Penny Hedge

Footage of Whitby’s oldest tradition taking place on the banks of the River Esk.

Dozens of people gathered in the early morning sunshine along Church Street to witness the planting of the Penny Hedge, which dates back to 1159 and sees a small fence erected out of hazel sticks by way of a penance for a sin committed by a trio of Whitby noblemen.

Stand-in horn blower Moira Clarke is believed to be the first woman ever to take part in the centuries-old ceremony, after she was plucked from the watching crowd and asked to do the honours when one of the usual participants failed to show.

Gazette reporter Rhys Howell was there to capture events as they unfolded and also caught up with Lol Hodgson, the bailiff of the Manor of Fyling and the man responsible for carrying out the ceremony.