We officially visited the site for the first time yesterday as the new owners and changed the locks on the gates. The gates are iron farm gates and not mounted. There are two gates to the plot, on the road gate the sandstone hinge post is broken and needs repair. The inner gate is totally missing the hinge post so we'll need to install a new post fairly soon. It gave us a chance to try out the 4-wheel drive on the old Freelander we bought last month as we drove off-road for the first time.
Fortunately we'd come armed with bolt cutters, a couple of new padlocks and a few metres of new chain. We were able to improvise temporary locking arrangements and cut away some of the old chains. A local farmer has a right of access to his field through our entrance, so over the next few days we'll visit his farm and give him a set of keys.
I walked around the field and found some evidence of dumped rubble, so there may some work necessary to deal with the unwelcome present from the previous owners. Up on the road side hedge there's evidence of a car accident which has caused some damage to the hedge and also left the front wheel and axle of a car on the embankment. We're thinking of installing a low wire chainlink fence at the roadside to provide some security while we work on rebuilding the hedge.
The first task is to cut down the grass and thistles, this awaits the delivery from Estate Machinery of a brand new Kawasaki Brush Cutter tomorrow, then we can start work. We did slash down a few weeds and shrubs to open up the path, but didn't make a lot of progress, but we felt when deserved some refreshment at the local pub the Railway Inn just down the road. It was well worth the visit.
Some of the blackthorn and wild plum saplings in the meadow area will be cut down carefully so we can save the wood as shanks for walking sticks to be sold on Ebay to hobby carvers some time next year. They seem to sell for about £3 each so this create a small income, particularly if we also harvest the ash and hawthorn in the wooded area.