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Overgrown Land


I have inherited some land which has not been maintained for several (30!) years. On it there are brambles etc. taller than I am and trees\shrubs so you can not even walk in a lot of the land.

I am looking to clear it all down and turn it into grazing land, with a house, outbuildings etc.

What is the best way of clearing the area and turning it into grazing land.

In a walled garden part I started with a hand brush cutter and you can now walk around that part but you are effectively now walking on a carpet of branches etc. so I doubt any weedkiller would soak into the soil. What would be the suggestions for next steps?

Do I need to use the same approach for the rest of the land?




  • Hostafan1Hostafan1 Posts: 25,315

    sounds like time for a bonfire, ( Make sure you check for hiding wildlife first ) then repeat as necessary. 

  • Weedkiller works on the leaves, not the soil. The plant needs to be growing when you apply it.

  • Allotment BoyAllotment Boy North London Posts: 2,366

    You could hire the wheeled type brush cutter which will deal with heavier scrub, brambles etc.

    Once it is all down either rake it up let it dry  & have a really big bonfire or if you can't or don't want to burn you will either need a shredder to reduce it all down to compost it or otherwise dispose of at a local amenity site. Maybe you could get a local farmer or contractor to do it for you, depends on your budget.

    Otherwise if you are not in a rush, get a local farmer to put some pigs in there for a few months they will clear it. Need good strong fences though - just a thought.

    AB Still learning

  • Thanks for the responses.

    I did not realize that about weedkiller. So if I did brush cut the area weed killer is no use not even on the stems that are left?

    The area is about 3 acres so I know there is going to be no quick fix but also I don't want what I do do\have done go to waste.

    In relation to the raking up what is left of the brambles\twigs\stems etc. Is there a tool that can be used for that because doing it by hand is very difficult due to everything being entwined etc.

    I do have incinerator bins and have burnt the leaves etc. of the nettles\brambles. I was surprised how quickly they burnt and that I had to keep feeding the fire.




    A friend of mine got one of these, I'm sure you cold hire one but you need to spray the weeds first and let them die. It's getting late in the year for this and depends where you are. As I said the plants need to be actively growing for the application of the weedkiller. You'll probably need SBK if it's brambles and stuff.

    As for picking it up, if you find an easy way let me know. 

    Buy gloves and good luck!

  • Busy-LizzieBusy-Lizzie Posts: 14,551

    How possible would it be to find a local farmer with a tractor and mower to cut the whole lot down? My local farmer's mower minces it all up and I leave it to rot down. Then in the spring when the brambles and nettles start growing you can spray them when young and in growth. If it's really bad and you want grazing maybe a farmer could harrow it after you've dealt with the weed growth and seed it. 3 acres is a heck of a lot to clear by hand.

    Dordogne and Norfolk
  • Allotment BoyAllotment Boy North London Posts: 2,366

    I agree with Busy-Lizzie,

    You need a farmer with a tractor Mower & then use a hay rake to pull it up into long low rows & burn . If you really have to do it yourself then something like a tined  Canterbury  hoe or an old hay rake to do same, but it will be hard going.

    AB Still learning

  • Kev.

    Have you got planning permission for a house yet?

  • Hi There. 

    I would either contact a local farmer or an agricultural contractor and query seeing if its possible for them to come in with a tractor and a flail mower to go over the whole the area to reduce growth down to soil level. 

    Apply chemical once growth is cut down to soil level. However for a good systemic weed killer it does come pricey. you will need one with a high glysophate level in order to tackle weeds. 

    This would be the most suitable and easiest way to tackle your problem!


    H.D Horticultural Maintenance

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