Our work on the hedges is continuing apace. Our focus has shifted though – the hedge behind the stables had started to grow a bit close to the buildings and needed looking at. Then a very old tree stump collapsed against the wall of Cookster’s stable and we really did have to do something about it.
It is huge and very heavy so had to be cut up into smaller sections before we could move it. That was pretty time consuming and in fact we still haven’t finished – my Dad cut off enough so we could shift it away from the wall but it blunted the chainsaw blade and we have had to leave the rest for another day.
I had the far less impressive but very satisfying job of pulling all the brambles out of an elder tree. It is so good when you can actually see the difference you are making but it really is a never ending job. You turn around and more have sprouted out of nowhere!
It does mean that we spot the most beautiful things though – just look at these tiny little toadstools I found. They are so pretty!
This weekend I should have been at the British Riding Club’s Novice Winter Championships but for obvious reasons that had to be cancelled. Instead, I have been spending the time helping out on the land.
My parents do a lot of work maintaining the fields and – although I would like to help more – I very rarely have enough time to do very much. Now, however, I have a lot of time and as the fields are right here by the house we can work on them without contravening any quarantine rules.
We have one hedgeline in particular which has been growing unchecked for several years. Our first job was to get all the brambles out, then there was a lot of sawing that needed to be done. We are getting a decent amount of firewood put aside for next winter and are shredding what we can of the rest to help with the mud situation (keeping any spiky bits away from the ponies) – although that has been drying up very nicely over the past few days.
It is a never ending job and once this hedge is done there will be plenty more to keep us occupied. The weeds along the edge of the stream may well be next – they don’t look much at the moment but they only take a few spring weeks to go mad.
The ponies seem to think that every load of shredded undergrowth – not to mention every opened gate – is meant for them and they have been following me about hopefully. I think their main aim was to be turned out into their summer field but it’s not quite dry enough yet. It won’t be long though!
If you saw my jungle post last week you will have seen just how quickly the undergrowth springs up here. It is wonderful being able to have the ponies at home but it does mean a lot of hard work. There wouldn’t be quite so much if we had a couple of flat fields with fences but we have hills, a stream and hedges so there is constantly something which needs work.
Obviously the hedges are always growing so they need keeping in check – although only outside of the nesting season. At the moment they are spreading quite happily!
They do spread too – a whole mini forest has sprung up in the field. They start off as little shoots and saplings so you think you have plenty of time to deal with them, then suddenly they are fully fledged trees. Just like that!
Then there are the weeds. The obvious poisonous ones like ragwort are got rid of as soon as they appear (if they do) but if we’re not careful the non poisonous ones can easily get left and begin to take over the field. Sadly, the ponies aren’t so keen on eating them as they are the grass.
Of course, I don’t do all of that on my own. In fact, I do very little at all. I am so lucky to have parents who do most of the work – I couldn’t possibly cope without them.
Even the dog helps out!