Well I couldn’t put it off any longer, let’s face it, I’ve been putting it off for long enough, 12 years to be precise. Now the old tree is gone I no longer have an excuse not to clear out the ditch.

The elation of last weekend has been replaced by the realisation of the enormity of the work to come.

I may have mentioned previously the fact that the ditch is overgrown with brambles older than I am, and certainly considerably taller. Some up to 15 feet long winding through the branches of the old hawthorn hedge.

Well last week I spent 2 days clearing it out. My first task was to remove the fall-out that had been left behind by the tree surgeon. That was hard enough, but at least twigs and branches don’t tear at your flesh the way that determined brambles do.

They are the most awkward thing to handle, particularly when they are so old and well established. They catch your hair, rip at your clothing and tear your flesh without mercy.

After 2 days I’d really had enough, and although  I haven’t completely finished, I have made substantial inroads into the job.

The idea is to keep on top of it once it’s cleared, cutting the brambles back before they have chance to get going. One thing’s for sure, I doubt I’ll ever be doing it in these proportions again.