In the middle of our land, more or less, is a large field that was once cultivated. When we took it on, it was something like six acres, fenced all around, of weeds and grasses. Our pond is at the southern end of the field and a stream runs across the northern boundary, which means we always have to ford the stream to reach it. We’re gradually getting to grips with this field after tinkering around in it for the past two summers.
First up: fence removal and relocation to create a smaller growing field. The southern end of the field has a number of trees and rocky outcrops, is extremely wet in the spring, and isn’t all that great ground for growing, so reducing the overall size of this field just makes sense. We’re going to reduce it to between half and two-thirds its current size. Removing the fence at the pond end will also open up the area around the pond, which has always felt oddly sliced up and inaccessible because of this physical barrier. We started work on this during our warm weather spell, more than a week ago, and made quick progress.
The line to the left of the path in the picture above used to be entirely fenced in. It’s amazing how quickly you can take down page wire fencing once you get started. Soon there is just a roll of fencing that seems to be composed in large part of dried grass, which of course has married itself to the fencing over many seasons.
Having the right tool for the job helps a great deal of course; we figure we need to invest in a couple more pairs of fencing pliers, like the ones below. They are amazing at removing old rusty nails, untwisting lengths of rusted wire, clipping pagewire and suchlike. Quite possibly my favourite implement.
It’s quite delightful to be able to just walk through this space, just opposite the corner of our pond. Previously we had to climb the fence or go a very long way around.
With the relatively short piece of fencing on the southern end now down, we’ve still got the run of fencing seen beyond the corner post in the shot below to dismantle. That’s the easy bit of course; we then need to reassemble all of this fencing in its new location, further up the field. We also need to increase the height of the fencing all the way around the new perimeter, for deer do regularly hop over it at its current height. We’ve done a lot of research on this and are looking at a relatively low-cost, clever solution (doesn’t mean low-effort of course). More on that later.
Since taking these pictures we’ve also sited our new greenhouse and are about a third of the way through the work of building it, at the north end of this field. Yesterday was a glorious day for working on it; today we awoke to slushy snow that quickly turned to rain, so we got caught up on chores inside, which was badly needed.