Posted: 13/01/2017 at 08:40
I absolutely agree with Nut - without using weedkiller, all you can do is to dig, dig and dig again. Cut the brambles back first so you have stumps and keep digging - you'll need a good strong mattock - ordinary garden fork and spade won't be tough enough to do the job.
To be honest with you, I hate using chemicals too, but to get rid of established brambles and ivy I would cut them hard back and then in the spring I would spray all new growth with glyphosate - wait until it's all died back and then dig it up and burn. Then wait for the bits you've missed to grow and I'd spray again - even doing it this way it'll take you at least a season to make sure you've got it all.
It's the way I've done it in the past and I would do it again.