Thursday, 10 January 2013

Land acquired.....


It's been quite a while since I last posted, what with work commitments and Christmas etc, but some sort of celebrations are in order !   

Our purchase of additional land adjacent to our house went through in November of last year.  It's a strip of 5 metres width and around 35 metres in length.   We had first expressed an interest in buying this land back in February 2011, and so the whole process took around 20 months to complete....

We won't frighten you with the costs, but adding legal, survey and planning fees it came to an awful lot of money for a simple extension to the gardens.

Anyway, we've now got the land and are very pleased with it.  The neighbouring farmers also bought the remainder of the available land for sale, as additional grazing for their livestock.

So we've already taken down the existing fences and hedges, and hired a mini-digger and operator for a day to clear out one particular area which must have been used as a dumping ground for hedge and grass trimmings for the last forty years or so.

the northern end, before clearance.....

and after....

Some of our old hedge trunks were very substantial and so we've added to our stockpile of logs for the fire.   They need to season for about a year first though, to dry them out properly, so they'll be good for next winter.  The rest of the tree and hedge cuttings went on several bonfires.



the old hedging at the the previous boundary....
and on the other side, from our new piece of land...

Over the Christmas holidays, we helped the farmer erect his stock fence that divides the properties, put up our own wooden fence at the south end and completed a small retaining wall at the north end, all good work which also gets us out of the house and into the garden during the winter.

For our south fence, the posts and carcass went up immediately after Christmas, and then we had to wait until 2nd January for a local timber merchant to re-open after the holidays to get the boards we needed to finish.  We could have gone to B&Q and bought 6' x 4" fence boards for more than £3 each, but by waiting a few days we got them for just over £1.....

We spent a day putting an additional coat of timber preservative on the already pressure-treated boards, and we also put up rabbit mesh all along the inside of the farmer's wire stock fence, to stop their sheep feasting on the young shoots of our new hedge and also to keep the wild rabbits off.   However, I'm not sure we can do much if the farmers' horses should take a fancy to them....

We've recently received the hedging plants which will be planted on our side of the boundary – 50 hornbeam, plus 50 hazelnut willows, 25 sweet chestnuts and 25 crab apples which should all bear fruit in a few years time for either ourselves or the local wildlife.....  we bought them all as 3-year old bare-root plants - buying them this large is considerably more expensive but should hopefully give us an effective screen by the end of this year.

Unfortunately, after a long period of very mild weather, the forecast is for a frosty week or so ahead, and therefore we've dug the hedging plants into a temporary trench to protect them until it gets a few degrees warmer and we can get them planted out.





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