Posted: 07/09/2013 at 12:30
Sounds a bit like parts of my garden 20 years ago Sanna. I wouldn't dig it over.
I'd cut back the top growth that itn't worth keeping, I'd say hawthorns wre worth keeping, You may find some baby trees and you can save the best ones.
In winter excavate planting holes to plant young, bare rooted trees. They'll grow away much quicker than potted ones. You can remove weed roots round these. Put tree guards round the trees
in spring selectively kill the difficult weeds, thistles, brambles, nettles, a few are OK but not everywhere.
then get a strimmer or hover mower, depending on the terrain and keep the weeds down that way for a few years.
Seems to have worked OK here