A HAMPSHIRE woman has gone out on a limb to become a tree climbing champion.

Arborist Josephine Hedger, who runs a tree care business with her husband in Sway in the New Forest, was crowned female champion at the European Tree Climbing Championships in Deventer, in the Netherlands.

Events in the competition included an aerial rescue in which the contestant had to lower an injured climber to the ground, an 18m speed climb, a work climb in which the competitors had to perform five tasks at different points within the tree.

Josephine said she was “over the moon”, adding: “There was some tough competition and I had to perform at my highest level.”

Josephine was also crowned champion in 2008, 2010 and 2014.