The hedges are littered with reminders of the last invasive tree disease, Dutch Elm. Lone sentries, some forty years dead, stand above the Blackthorn and Hazel hedgerows, providing a vantage point for Buzzards, Chiffchaffs and the Green Woodpeckers that are abundant all around. I guess nature finds a way.
Clearing the trees turns out to be a not insignificant job. We employed local company Greenslades to clear the fields, with an endeavour like ours we believe in keeping things as local as possible and they are only 2 miles down the road! Besides, my sister Liz knows George and Lawrence, the Greenslade brothers…
Over a number of days and weeks, arborists Lawrence and Russel carefully clear the field trees. Nothing will go to waste, the biggest lumber has been saved to be turned into furniture for our new home and the vineyard, the rest will keep mum and dad warm for a long time, the chippings will be used to mulch the old vines.
The surprise comes from clearing the roots, potential bearers of disease and scupperers of ploughs, which take longer than the tree felling to chase out with a digger. Albert and Edith LOVE tractors and diggers so we spent a lot of time watching in awe.