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Latest posts by hypercharleyfarley


Posted: 13/03/2013 at 15:35

Could you perhaps give more of a clue as to what your driveway's made of?  I'm not sure what you mean by "stones".   Is it gravel?  Is there a change of level from the road/street to the house or parking area?  More info, please, & I'm sure you'll get some help & ideas to choose from.

Jean Bailey

Posted: 13/03/2013 at 10:07

Hi GG - two of your recent comments/points puzzle me a bit.  Why should any land which is privately owned become "accessible as a leisure amenity for others"?  Although a public footpath crosses my land, I don't consider it to be public property.  I own it.  I bought it.  It's mine.  Folks can - and may - cross it, on the footpath, but I don't agree with the idea that it's a "leisure amenity" for them!   The farmer who rents it from me wouldn't be too pleased either if people allowed their dogs/children to run around annoying and upsetting the cattle when they are grazing there during the summer months, and neither would I!


The other point you made about only 10% of our farming potential is utilised puzzles me too.  Just exactly what did you mean by that?  I suppose it might just be that the majority of the total acreage/land area which the UK consists of is not actually put to farming use because it's mountain/forest etc. and therefore unsuitable for arable or dairy farms, but there are lots of folk who use hillside/mountainous areas for sheep, so I can't quite see where your "10% of the potential" comes from, given that parts of the landscape simply couldn't be "farmed" anyway.  The changes to farming in my lifetime (my Pa was a very successful farmer) have been astonishing, not only as regards efficiency and productivity but also as regards the attitudes of people who are in authority but know virtually nothing about what it takes to make a living from the land.  I still have some connections - somewhat tenuous now perhaps - with the farming industry, and am saddened by the fact that my neighbour cannot now compete with what you'd call "the major players" when it comes to milk production, the income (loss, in his case) from which is driven by the major supermarkets' ever-increasing pressures to bring  down the price on the supermarket shelf to satisfy their customers. 

Jean Bailey

Posted: 12/03/2013 at 20:27

Hi Gardening Grandma - if nothing else, at least it's getting people to talk about it and discuss whether or not certain planning laws ought perhaps to be changed.  However, you'll have seen that my point of view is that if there's a law, we should abide by it - and then do what we can to persuade The Powers That Be to see things differently if that appears to be the majority view.

Jean Bailey

Posted: 12/03/2013 at 16:02

I can only assume that most people who post here have no direct experience of the problems people can have with the planning authorities, ref use of agricultural land.  My neighbours and I have - and are continuing to have - a huge problem with what's happening on the land which adjoins their land & house, and (a few yards away) mine.  Some so-called "portable" sheds have been erected in connection with a poultry business - the sheds are not in any way portable, and some now have a permanent mains power supply.  The person concerned contravenes all sorts of rules & regs ref housing/movement of livestock and in spite of a court case (which he lost) continues to do so. Although various agencies have been involved - from the  RSPCA & Trading Standards etc to other government departments, so far he's still getting away with it.  For this reason, if no other, I believe that we must try to insist that the various laws are complied with, whatever other so-called "mitigating circumstances" might seem to apply.  As I said in an earlier post, I feel sorry for the lady in question if she has inadvertently contravened planning laws - but whatever laws are in place, they should apply/be adhered to by everyone - and I wish they were being fully enforced here!

Jean Bailey

Posted: 11/03/2013 at 18:24

Although I feel sorry for the lady if she has in fact inadvertently done something which is against planning regulations, it's still necessary to comply with whatever is the law in this regard.  There's a saying something along the lines of "ignorance of the law is no excuse" and I suppose this applies here.  Just because you own land - however little - it doesn't always mean that you can do just what you want with it.  I agree that little or no harm seems to have been done in this case, but her actions could however create a precedent, which her local council should take seriously - otherwise they may well find that other landowners do the same, using this precedent to back up their case.  

Creosote - Which one and the best technique?

Posted: 05/03/2013 at 20:12

Hi Earl - I don't think there's much to choose from in that they could all well be the same/similar formula but marketed under different names.  Obviously it'll depend a bit on how much fencing you have to deal with, but as the creosote doesn't "go off" in the container, you could buy whatever seems the best value per litre.  I buy it from a local agricultural supplies place in what I'd still call a 10 gallon drum.  Don't know what the metric equivalent would be.  I guess you could get it at a builders' merchant's place too, but haven't checked that.

Creosote - Which one and the best technique?

Posted: 04/03/2013 at 19:28

I think it may depend a bit on whether or not your fence has been painted with a particular product before.  If it's just the "normal" type of wood-preserver (rather than a type of paint) then creosote - or today's substitute - will work fine.  If it's solid panels e.g. no visible gaps, you could probably spray the larger part of it, but creosote type stuff can and does kill greenery, so where the spray falls (other than on the wood) be prepared for any plants or grass it touches to die off.  Having said that, I still wouldn't use anything else for a fence! 

I like the way it fades and shows the grain of the wood - and there's nothing to peel off - some other products eventually do.  I use a 4" brush - quite a thick-bristled one - and put some cardboard or a piece of old carpet down below where I'm working in otder to catch and absorb any spills and drips.  It's far quicker to apply than paint, or instance, and easily gets into the cracks & crevices.  I think it does a far bettter job than other products as far as preserving the wood is concerned.



vegetables and horse manure

Posted: 18/02/2013 at 22:05

Best not to sow carrots in freshly manured soil.  They often grow in a "fork" shape then, so although their weight/volume might be OK, the useable part (after any peeling etc) will be less than it would otherwise be.

As far as horse-muck's concerned - as with any manure - it needs to be well rotted before you use it.  These days more and more people are using wood shavings as bedding for horses (rather than straw) and this means it takes rather longer to rot down than the conventional straw bedding.  I've used wood-shavings bedding from family ponies' stabling in the past - left it in closed plastic bags for 12 months though!

what can I put in compost

Posted: 18/02/2013 at 19:35

Not sure what you mean by " composter".  However, if it's one of those Dalek-type plastic bins it's important that there's some way for worms to find their way in.  I have two of these bins + a big compost heap over the fence in the field, so perhaps it'll help if I tell you about the Daleks. They are in an area which is paved with concrete slabs -with approx half-inch gaps between the slabs.  Loads of worms have made their way in.

I put all sorts of kitchen waste (not cooked food) - e..g.  vegetable/fruit peelings, tea bags, coffee grounds, eggshells, contents of my vacuum cleaner, fluff from tumble dryer, shredded paper, garden greenery (but not weeds which have obvious seed heads), chopped-up prunings, some lawn-mowings, dead flowers & so on.  It's important not to have a deep layer of any one thing - so most of the lawn cuttings & large twiggy stuff/branches & so on go on to the big heap in the field, & I rely on the cattle's curiosty to trample the heap fro time to time, which means I don't have to turn it - which is something you're supposed to do on a regular basis.  For turning the contents of the Daleks I have a gadget which looks a bit like a folded arrowhead on a stick.  I push it down into the Daleks' contents from time to time & the folded arrowhead opens up as I pull the whole thing out again & this disturbs the layers.  Sorry I can't remember what it's called, or the manufacturer, but I bet somebody out there knows!  It helps if the compost is in a sunny spot - mine isn't - as heat helps decomposition.  I'm sure other posters will explain a bit more, but here's a start, anyway.........

Can we build a fence tight to a hedge?

Posted: 16/02/2013 at 22:29

Hello again - a couple of things to bear in mind though:  do you know who is responsible for the boundary fence/hedge?  are there any restrictions ref height?  You should be able to find out via your solicitor/legal stuff/deeds etc. 


For instance, if you have a plan of the plot, this is how to work out who's responsible.  They boundaries will  be shown as a line like this ________T__________ and the owner of the land on which the T falls is responsible for that boundary.


Most new-ish properties carry restrictions as to the height of fences, hedges etc. & these should be indicated in any paperwork you have following the house purchase.  There's an "inside" and an "outside" for fences too - the convention is that you put any (visible) posts on the inside - e.g. as with close-boarded fencing.   If you do decide to put a fence up, I'd suggest you consider putting a horizontal board at ground level first & then put the panels on top of it.  This means that if there's a problem with wood rotting in future, you only need to replace the board & not the whole panel.

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