Hazel is coppiced during the winter months when the sap is down. A cycle of 7 years growth is required for hurdlemaking. The stumps or stools are cut at a height of a few inches and at a slight angle to allow rainwater to run off. The cut stems are laid down in small heaps (drifts) and are then trimmed with a smaller billhook and graded at the same time.
Hurdles require at least 8 uprights or zales of the straightest hazel which are pointed and set into a forma or mould (usually a sawn log or railway sleeper with holes in a slightly curved line). The end zales are left round whilst the rest are usually split or cleft along the centre grain.
Smaller rods in the round are used to begin the weave and are layed-in in such a way as to prevent the bottom of the finished hurdle from falling out. Cleft rods of about 9' in length are then woven from one side and then twisted and taken around the end zale and back into the weave. Nearly all rods should be twisted in such a way, this is what holds the hurdle together.
Once the hurdle has been built-up to a few inches from the top, a standard pattern is used to finish it off. This is designed in such a way to give a tight finish that is secure when in use.
Continuous wattle fencing uses the exact same techniques but is built 'in-situ' to any length. Supporting posts can be in-built and are not obvious from either side.