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.
We left the woodland and continued our wanderings around Big Field. If we cut the briars in the corner of Big Field/Orchard we will have another good access point, which would save us getting caught up on the Blackthorns, as Mum did!!
We walked back up the hedge line and stopped at Orchard (or what will be our orchard) and Big Field Gate. There are some areas here in the banked hedgerow that we need to rebank and also this hedgerow needs laying! That will be a big job come the winter! We also decided that it might be a good plan to remove this gate from Big field into Orchard entirely as we dont want our wooly friends accessing our baby trees when we plant them next year!! We should just build a stile into the field and reinstate the banking/hedgerow in this section! On our way out of Big Field we noticed some hedgerow creep into the field and decided that it would be worth noting them for movement later back into the hedgerow in the gaps mentioned around the place!!
When we came back out of Big Field our neighbour was diggin out some of the wormery compost from Holding Field, so we stopped for a chat. Turns out he is a friend of th chap we saw in the windows and doors showroom and he said that they were “expensive, but worth it!” Walking back past the barns we met our close neighbour erecting fencing panels, which we thought initially were to obscure the view of our gorgeoous Azzy Barns!!
But later we discovered that a Baby St Bernard was probably the real reason! Chatting with our neighbour we discovered several things about the property. The spring water dries up every year!!! Argh!!! that has sent us running for bore hole quotes!!! he also has a borehole which he reckons is fantastic. He also said that all the farms up here have fantastic septic tanks and if possible we should not touch ours, other than to connect the new barn! his kitchen sink actually comes out into our septic, one of the bizarre issues from when the original farm was divided up! Our neighbour also discussed some drainage and access issues that he and some others had had with the previous owner! all concerning a triangle of grass opposite the front of the property, which upon checking is not even on our land, it seems to be classed as public highway! The farmer who owns the hill fields needs better access to the hill track opposite and the water gushes down the hill track in times of heavy rain and can make the road impassable. Some more things to check out then!!
On our way back to Hovel for a cuppa Dad and James decided to nvestigate the triangle of discontent! They discovered that the old ditch and pipework and drainage grate, which should have taken the mountain track water under the road was so silted up and unmaintained that nothing was draining through it and everything was headed over the road! Another thing to add to the jobs list!!