Clearing the Ridge

When we started clearing the Hawthorn and Blackthorn from the site we soon get to the fence that ran along the top of the dell. The area on the other side of the fence was obscured by a large number of older, wilder bushes. They were the origins of the bushes we had just spent days clearing and some were quite large. With such little spacing between them they had blocked virtually all light from reaching the ground.
Our first step was to try and remove as much of the overhanging branches as we could from the cleared side of the fence. This took a while but did allow us to get a better view of the task awaiting us on the other side of the fence.
After clearing enough to see the fence clearly, we started looking for a site to start clearing the other side of the fence. We wanted somewhere we could easily cross the fence and provided enough room to start working, which narrowed it down to one spot.
Using just our amazing Jardin de France loppers and a bow saw we managed to clear enough of the area to be able to work easily.
As the bushes had grown so close to each other, their bases were largely bare and covered in moss and lichens. The amount of lichen growing was encouraging given its need for clean air, but it was also a good indicator of how little light was reaching those areas.
Looking back towards the house plot from our newly cleared area provided another great view :-)
Our basic idea was to open up the top of the ridge so we could walk along under the canopies of the trees, but that was going to take a lot more work.