Smallholders Insurance from Greenlands

Author Topic: 4 years neglect  (Read 5186 times)

Jimbofish67

  • Joined Jun 2011
  • Brynamman South Wales
4 years neglect
« on: October 03, 2011, 12:31:34 pm »
Hello to all, we have just recently took over a holding in South Wales, unfortunately the 4 acres of mountainside pasture has been neglected for over 4 years, we  are now left with half an acre of brambles, half an acre of ferns and grass which you could happily hide a herd of sheep it's so long
A local farmer had tried to top the grass a few years ago but gave up for his own safety the field have a reasonable incline and having become boggy.
So any suggestions would be great, I think I'll get my head around dealing with whats left of the grass but the brambles and ferns are spreading by the week.
Thanks in advance
Jim.

HappyHippy

  • Guest
Re: 4 years neglect
« Reply #1 on: October 03, 2011, 12:50:33 pm »
Pigs  :pig: :pig: :pig: ;D
They'll clear, turn and fertilise your ground and you have the bonus of being able to eat them at the end  ;)
I'd wait til spring now though (especially if the ground is a bit on the wet side) and use electric fencing to rotate them in smaller areas til it's all cleared (you might need a couple of batches to do 4 acres) after each area has had the pigs it should be a case of rolling and resowing some grass/pasture mixes and by the following year it'll be looking great  ;)
I'm using this method for ground that's not been touched for 20 years and it's working a treat (that's my excuse anyway)  ;D
HTH
Karen  :wave:

robert waddell

  • Guest
Re: 4 years neglect
« Reply #2 on: October 03, 2011, 12:59:55 pm »
if the land is dangerous for topping is even more dangerous for seeding and rolling
if it on a slope you will get soil erosion with pigs and rainfall
the brambles you would need to clear           sheep get caught in them
old grass is easy just strip graze it to get it back to a good sward      your safety is your first priority :farmer:

Jimbofish67

  • Joined Jun 2011
  • Brynamman South Wales
Re: 4 years neglect
« Reply #3 on: October 03, 2011, 04:22:40 pm »
We had considered pigs for some area's where it was less boggy, but the OH felt a little guilty with the thought of them ploughing through the potentially thorny bramble roots
The chap who attempted the topping did mention that due to the slope, boggy and uneven ground that he had to give up, but also admitted that trying to use a conventional tractor & topper was not suitable, so I have been looking at alternative purpose built mowers to tackle the grass, something like a 4x4 bank mower or alpine tractor.
The grass is so long and the thatch so deep that I actually stumbled on an old derelict outbuilding we didn't know was there. So a bit of investigation with a brush-cutter might be a starting point.

Jim.

Plantoid

  • Joined May 2011
  • Yorkshireman on a hill in wet South Wales
Re: 4 years neglect
« Reply #4 on: October 11, 2011, 10:31:25 am »
i live in south Wales also near Ammanford .

Locally several people have sucessfully cleared their land by the following :-

Can you drain the land starting from the bottom of the slope working your way up to make a herring bone gulley drain system using a tracked mini digger ..just take it slowly and work with the back of the machine facing up the hill .
So the counter balance at the back of the machine holds you on to the hill . If you need to turn round  scrape yourself a small flat platform and do it on there.
Only come down the hill with the bucket forward and close to the earth so if you do tip forward the bucket will stop it and you can recover your self using the bucket and arm .

 You'd only need the 300 mm wide bucket to go diwn 400 ish mm ..once you get the drainage sorted you have a better chance of sorting out the rest using a back pack and SBK then burning off the dead material after it has died.
International playboy & liar .
Man of the world not a country

Jimbofish67

  • Joined Jun 2011
  • Brynamman South Wales
Re: 4 years neglect
« Reply #5 on: October 17, 2011, 12:58:43 pm »
Thanks for the suggestions Plantoid, have just come back from a week of head scratching, pondering and heavy labour and the drainage around the field, garden and house has become priority number one. There is a spring at the top of the property and a stream running all the way across and behind the house, further investigation has shown where old underground culverts have started to collapse, so the water is tracking down the hill making everything a little bit more soggy than usual.
Repairs and clearance of obstacles has started and further  land drainage will be added across the field in good time, although it not been mini-diggers but good old pick and shovel this week.

tobytoby

  • Joined May 2011
  • north ayrshire
Re: 4 years neglect
« Reply #6 on: October 17, 2011, 02:03:22 pm »
Jimbo - i just cleared 4 acres this weekend with lots of tall ungrazed grass and thick bramble patches, even on some steep bankings I used a new twin trac walk behind Scag flail mower, set on the highest cut and it looks like a completley new woodland area (you can hire one for around 150 p/w).It only took 8 hours. Its all ready for the sheep - once its fenced.

Plantoid

  • Joined May 2011
  • Yorkshireman on a hill in wet South Wales
Re: 4 years neglect
« Reply #7 on: October 18, 2011, 11:57:05 pm »
Take it steady with the pick and shovel Jimbo its far too easy to over do things and have your carpel tunnels inflame and cause you grief for years .
Not to mention  knackering a disc, joint or two in your back , knees , fingers ,shoulders & elbows.  I speak from hard experience and lots of permanant damage to myself.

 If you are over 27 yrs old  try and get machinery to help you do your tasks
International playboy & liar .
Man of the world not a country

Jimbofish67

  • Joined Jun 2011
  • Brynamman South Wales
Re: 4 years neglect
« Reply #8 on: October 21, 2011, 12:47:22 pm »
Thanks tobytoby I will definitely be looking into hiring a pedestrian flail mower on that advise, I had considered it as a possible option but you've made up my mind.

Plantoid, no need to worry, I consider myself too long in the tooth for playing at being a hero, don't mind a bit of hard work but not worth hurting yourself for the sake of saving a few 's if it can be avoided.
Just out of interest why 27yrs old ???

Jim.

tobytoby

  • Joined May 2011
  • north ayrshire
Re: 4 years neglect
« Reply #9 on: October 24, 2011, 07:06:56 pm »
Jim,
If you hire one, get them to raise the machine so you can look at the flails(you don't want any damage), they are 1/4" steel but break/chip/blunt quite easily if you hit a lot of stones, but are easy to grind sharp again. I used about 4 gallon petrol to do my area - on highest revs..

 

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