I had a session attacking brambles this weekend: I need to get at the fallen pear tree to start cutting it over winter, and the prickly empire of doom was not only taking over our garden but also encroaching over the fence and our neighbour wasn’t happy. I tried to point out the advantages of blackcurrant jam for life but he didn’t seem convinced, so I got out the new scythe. I really need to figure out a new way to sort the brambles out or at least keep them to resspectable levels, and I have a horrible feeling the only effective thing will be putting something toxic on them: the only organic solution I’ve heard of is keeping goats on the land, which would require security fencing and possibly minefields: they only have to get into the neighbours garden once. A long term solution may be to grow trees on the steep parts of the hill to shade the brambles out, so wherever I came across an ash tree I cleared the brambles away in the hope it grows.

The area you can see took about two hours to cut and which a tenth of the total. I discovered several quite large saplings while doing this. Having brambles higher than the trees is probably a bad sign in terms of weed control.