It was beginning to resemble Sleeping Beauty’s not-so-enchanted forest of tangly thicket out there, in the ‘garden’.
There are some fabulous stretches of hedgerow surrounding the land, providing habitats for all sorts of flora and fauna, but one component, namely the blackberry bush (Rubus fruticosa) is spreading like wildfire and threatening the other shrubs and trees.
In amongst these brambles are woody plants such as :-
- Hawthorn (Crataegus monogyna)
- Blackthorn (Prunus spinosa)
- Hazel (Coryllus avellana)
- Oak (Quercus)
- Quince (Cydonia oblonga)
Not to mention ex-elm trees, and climbing shrubs such as dog rose (Rosa canina), and traveller’s-joy (Clematis vitalba).
I’m all for letting nature take its course, but the rate of encroachment was becoming significant and it was time to intervene. Time for something more effective than a pair of sharp secateurs and stout leather gardening gloves – bring on the tractor mounted flail cutter.
Monsieur Debroussaillage has spent a good 4 hours noisily reclaiming the margins of the land, and clearing in between the old oak trees.
Additionally, the so-called uncultivated pasture (aka Lower Miller Beck Fell), was being invaded by acaia trees, which take hold at a phenomal pace. Another half days work for Monsieur D., and the field looks so inviting that we have started to talk about keeping sheep or goats again.