Context: an article in an academic journal. The authors are both native speakers from the UK.
The sentences within quotation marks were transcribed during the meetings (focus groups).

The focus groups responses illuminate such perceptions:
"Variety is the essence, from a varied seashore, right up to different kinds of farming, into coal mining fringes."
"A mix of landscape, hedges; some managed and trimmed, others left to grow until layed. Different woodland features and a bit of bracken ... its got the balance of managed and wilder areas."
I understand there are some general problems with transcriptions (for instance, "its got" should have been "it's got", right? This mistake was made three times in the article), but I cannot understand what that "layed" should have been and what the speaker meant. Did s/he refer to landscape or hedges?
I guess it ("layed") refers to hedges -- not trimmed, but left to grow (without any management, in a sort of natural way) ... until what?


The word 'layed' does not make any sense here. The original word has been misheard, but I can't think of what it can have been.

Common sense tells me until trimming.
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Thanks, Clive and Opti.

Opti, if the word were layered, would it refer to hedges? How would you describe "hedges left to grow until layered"?
Yes, a layered hedge
It is a hedge trimmed so that it has layers
A bit like a hair stylist can layer hair.
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However, I'm not a gardening expert.
Please see this link it may help, it seems as though the original word, laid/layed could be correct.
Thanks for the link!
optilangPlease see this link it may help, it seems as though the original word, laid/layed could be correct.

Actually, the page from the Telegraph doesn't contain "layed" -- they say "Laid (or layered) hedges are not just suitable for an agricultural environment...", so your assumption was correct. Many thanks again. Emotion: smile