Ask the Ex­perts

Country Smallholding - - Inside This -

QWe have two acres of slop­ping land that is com­pletely over­grown and I want to get it un­der con­trol. I have asked this ques­tion on lots of fo­rums and ev­ery­one keeps telling me to get goats. The trou­ble is our land isn’t fenced very well and I’m not there all the time to look af­ter them. We don’t have a trac­tor and tack­ling it with a strim­mer seems im­pos­si­ble. Any ideas?

AKevin Alviti says: Goats would cer­tainly be one way of deal­ing with it, but it’s not the way I would go about the prob­lem.

Per­son­ally, I would look into hir­ing a ma­chine that could do the hard work for you. It all de­pends how con­fi­dent and ex­pe­ri­enced you are with ma­chines, though. If in any doubt, it is best to hire some­one in to do the work for you.

There are lots of choices on the market at the present time. You could hire a trac­tor with a flail mower at­tached to it. A small re­verse drive trac­tor with one of these mounted on it would make short work of a field over­grown with bram­bles.

If it is more over­grown than that, or the ter­rain isn’t ideal for a trac­tor, what about hir­ing a ra­dio-con­trolled self-pro­pelled flail mower. These ma­chines can han­dle saplings up to 3in and leave ev­ery­thing as a mulch on the ground when fin­ished — and you stand at a safe dis­tance to op­er­ate it. It is said that they can do in a day what it would take 20 work­ers with strim­mers to com­plete. If you do go about hir­ing a ma­chine, make sure that you have in­sur­ance just in case any­thing goes wrong. Your in­sur­ance provider should be able to ad­vise you on this.

Hire a ma­chine — and an op­er­a­tor — in to do the work if you lack con­fi­dence

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