Over the last month James and I have been clearing the rough pasture as this is the new venue for an orchard!! This means more weeds…. More bramble forests and some chainsawing up of goat willows and overhanging branches!
We couldn’t just go to the farm without some sort of weed wars or work!! So last Saturday James continued work on building the path down to the orchard from the yard, by hand… No digger in sight, well with a little help from his gator!
I on the other hand got out my trusty hedge cutters and started to clear the yard of weeds….
As well as the building work last weekend James hired a mini digger (too mini for the job he wanted it for as it turned out)
As I left to go into cardigan to look at tiles he was a happy husband playing diggers and building a path down into orchard field from the yard!
Upon my return…..
A digger minus the treads on one side!!
Luckily our neighbour at the top of the hill used to work on diggers so he came up and fixed it…..
James had about another hour or two of digger play before it happened again…
He gave up! And luckily our neighbour came back just before we left to fix it again before it had to go back to the hire company!
Well sort of!!! We have cleared the weed mountain in the pathway and moved out the hideously bent and destroyed gate and the one that was just propped up for good measure!!! This path when levelled and properly excavated will lead from the yard to orchard field, as it will be!!!!
Eventually we hope this will be a driveable path!!
We managed to get a fair bit done last weekend despite me taking a pile of work to play with!! James chainsawed up his remaining trees!!!!
We waged war on more orchard brambles and nettles and have ended up with a lot more clear space!!! It’s actually going to be a fairly large area!!
Phew think the orchard field battle is getting there!! Now we need to await a little regrowth and spray!!! They will die and we will have a beautiful grassy orchard!!! With a wild flower and herb bank on this side anyway….. I’m thinking strawberries on the bank the slurry pit side!!
Once the spraying and clearing in slurry pit was done I decided to venture into what will be our orchard with the strimmer and the hedge cutters to find the other side of the bank and the gate at the end of it that leads into the yard or will do once we clear it!!!
I figure that this will make a better run through to the orchard than the current little windy path past the tin hut!!
Any way back to the brambles and nettles!!!!
We started with a load of this…..
Then with some strimmer and hedge cutter action we got to….
And after a bit more I made it to the gate!!! Though we need to take some wire cutters etc to sort it some more before finishing the job!!
After a restorative cuppa in the Hovel we headed out along the other borders of the property over the rough pastureland. Following the animal trails we wandered down to the stream pipe which seperates the two of the three section of rough pastureland.
Dad suggested we get a stone trough put in under the pipe rather than the current ironwork one, to allow for the water to be drunk. I am not sure who he intends drinking the water, but as most of it is pony field and road run off….. ummm maybe not!! Not mentioning the fact that how the heck would we get the iron trough out and a stone one in!!!
In the far rough pasture there is a lot of Sphagnum Moss and marsh gras in the field portion adn around the pipe stream there is a lot of Salix Caprea or Goat willow and a LOT of Briars. We would need to start at the top of the stream and work down in order for us to recolonise the stream sides with basketry willow!
Dad also pointed out another good potential woodland ingress point!! I say potential, because a. its a bit steep, b. its full of briars and brambles!! There is a fence line and another channel down from the road then that prevents us accessing the woodland between us and our Mill neighbour, so we will need more investigations down here in the fullness of time! Somewhere in there is apparently our Japanese Knotweed colony! UGH!!!
Having crossed back over the piped stream, we walked back across the lower edge of the middle rough pasture, across another drainage stream, which is the one supposedly to take the mountain track run off under the road and off down the hillside. At this point we have three Leylandii and a teardrop shaped piece of flattish land which goes off towards Big Field and the gate we will probably turn into a stile, which will be our Orchard when the autumn comes and we can get planting!
We have lots of Nettle beds over this side that Dad said should be full of butterflies soon. Just as he said that we saw three large peacock butterflies sitting amongst the nettles. We walked amongst the grass and nettles for a while longer and discussed orchard possibilities…. and found a young Ash tree.