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Author Topic: What to do with a small bit of Land...  (Read 572 times)

Orchard Barn

  • Joined Dec 2014
What to do with a small bit of Land...
« on: November 18, 2019, 01:04:23 pm »

I bought my house six years ago, along with approx. 4 Acres of land. Some of the land is garden which is fine, about an acre of it is on a slope which I let grow wild as it encourages wildlife and attracts birds of prey, about half an acre is woodland which I maintain to a degree, but that leaves about 2.5 acres of grass.

Since buying the property, I have kept the grass mowed and in maintenance terms, have treated is as garden (yes, it is agricultural land so I know we shouldn’t). My plan was to enjoy picnics etc and have the grandchildren run around the land, but only once have we ever actually used this 2.5 acres, as we spend all our time in the actual garden, conveniently placed next to the house!

After six years of spending numerous precious hours every week maintaining the area, for no real benefit, I need an alternative solution. I’d like to keep it looking nice as although we can’t see the land from our house (the woodland is in the way) there are a couple of houses that neighbour the land and the elderly residents enjoy the visual appeal, and I’m keen to retain that for them.

This is a very long winded way of asking if anyone has any ideas for low-maintenance (my wife and I both work full time), visually appealing ways of using/maintaining this bit of land?

Thanks in advance.


  • Joined Nov 2018
  • Carmarthenshire
Re: What to do with a small bit of Land...
« Reply #1 on: November 18, 2019, 02:10:03 pm »
My suggestion is to put a few sheep on there.

They will mow the grass so you don't have to. The neighbours surely won't complain about a few sheep and they won't be able to see their poos


  • Joined May 2010
  • South Lanarkshire
    • Wester Gladstone Hebridean Sheep
Re: What to do with a small bit of Land...
« Reply #2 on: November 18, 2019, 04:19:54 pm »
It totally depends on what you and your wife are like.  Are you roughy-toughy types, or more suburban types who just enjoy your house and garden?

Animals such as sheep, or geese, are a good idea if you actually want to keep them, but they do require care and some fairly hard work to look after.  Overall, I would say that keeping animals on the land would be much harder work than zipping round weekly on a ride-on mower, or tractor mower.

As you already have an area left wild for flora and fauna, and an area of woodland, perhaps you would like to use your 2 1/2 acres to plant up with mixed native trees and flowers to increase that available area for wildlife. If you are involved with the community, then you could turn it over for wildlife managed by them, or for private vegetable allotments.  There are usually people who have no garden of their own, but who are desperate to grow food for their families who would jump at the idea.  Perhaps less so if you are in a very rural area.

Going back to when you bought the land, what was your reason for the acreage, or was it the rural setting and the house you went for?

Are your grandchildren active types and do they visit often?  If they have bikes, then you could set up paths and a course for them to tear around, its complexity depending on their ages.  Your neighbours would either love or hate that option, but it's not as if it would happen every day, and they may love watching the children play.  You could extend it with paths through the woodland if it was a success.  In fact cutting a winding path from your house through the woodland to the grass field could make you use it more, and it would be more of an adventure for your grandchildren to explore.

You could use it as a 'glamping' site if you want to make some money from it, although I can't imagine that would be popular with your neighbours unless they were involved somehow, for example selling home baking to the campers.  As you both work, perhaps that's an idea for the future.

Not knowing you, where you are, and what your aims in life are, I can make no better suggestions.

Do something today that your future self will thank you for - plant a tree

Draco dormiens nunquam titillandus - let sleeping dragons lie


  • Joined Oct 2010
Re: What to do with a small bit of Land...
« Reply #3 on: November 18, 2019, 06:02:04 pm »
As keeping animals is obviously not your first choice (or you would have done it!) I suggest you rent it out to someone else to keep animals on. Sheep would be my first choice as they do not destroy fences and keep the grass fairly tidy. Horses would be my last choice as they do tend to destroy fences and on rented land, often because the owners have nowhere else to put them, tend to stay on all year and in winter the ground becomes a muddy mess. A couple of quiet cattle would also do the job, and tame animals can be quite a pleasure to see and interact with. Also, a lot depends on your fences and what they would keep in. But if you do decide to let for grazing, then it's helpful if you chose someone who has the ability to maintain the fences, and somewhere else to keep the  animals in winter so you're not committed to having them all year round even when the ground's unsuitable (like now!) Obviously make it clear at the onset what you expect like maintaining fences, and how may months grazing /year.

Rules are made:
  for the guidance of wise men
  and the obedience of fools.


  • Joined Mar 2009
  • Stirlingshire, Central Scotland
Re: What to do with a small bit of Land...
« Reply #4 on: November 18, 2019, 06:04:32 pm »
I'd either put a few sheep on there or find an aspiring local smallholder who will, in exchange for a small rent. There are loads of people who would love to keep animals but who just don't have the space.

Just get everything tied up very well in a contract, including the species and numbers permitted (to stop things from getting out of hand), plus reasonable notice terms including who's responsible for fencing, maintenance etc.

Oops. Cross-posted with Roy.
"All fungi are edible. Some fungi are only edible once." -Terry Pratchett


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