Clearing Brambles

Brother Barny rescuing a cherry tree from a concerted bramble assault.

Left unchecked the brambles will take over the farm, like a remorseless army. They have done at least once before in my memory, filling the paths and nut plats with their long, tangled, barbed branches just like the woods in sleeping beauty. Clearing them is slow, painful work and there are many more trees and fences that need rescuing.

Nature is endlessly bountiful, which is the great gift to the farmer. Every year the cobnut trees deliver their crop to the harvest for us to enjoy. But nature is productive in so many other ways too.

As any gardener knows, maintaining a piece of land can feel like an never ending challenge, which is, of course, a big part of its charm.

We should not try to master nature, like king Canute trying to stop the tide, rather we should aim to work alongside, shaping and cajoling it for our pleasure and enjoyment while we can, accepting that any marks we make will be gently and permanently erased when we stop.