satisfying removal of brambles by hand

Useful technique and tools for removing brambles by hand and preserving the unique ground flora, without the use of chemicals.

Typical woodland edge bramble
1. Typical patch of woodland edge bramble.
long bramble stems shoot from the crown
2. The long stems shoot from a central crown.

Cut back the long stems first.

Cutting back bramble stems with hedge cutter
3. Cut back long stems with a long handled hedge cutter or scythe…
Pull out long cut brambles stems with flat head rake
5. Pull out the long cut stems with a flat head rake…
4. …leaving about 6 inches of stem still in the ground.
using welders gloves to pull out bramble stems protects hands
6. …or by hand using ‘welders gloves’
7. Repeat the process…
gathering up loose peices of bramble
9. Gather up any loose pieces.
8. …to cut back any long stems.
pile of brambles
10. Placing all the brambles in a pile.

Then deal with the crown.

Bramble crown and cut stems in the ground.
11. The crown and cut stems in the ground.
using a pick to remove bramble crown by hand
12. Use the pick…
using a pick to get underneath bramble crown
13. …to get underneath the crown of the bramble.
grub out bramble crown with spade
14. Or a narrow spade to grub the crown out.
bulbous swollen head of bramble crown
15. The crown is a bulbous swollen head…
example of bramble crown
16. …growing just beneath the surface of the ground.
Bramble crowns
Close up of bramble crowns.
typical patch of brambles
17. Before.
cleared patch of brambles
18. After. This patch was cleared in 20 minutes by one person.

Think of what a small group of well coordinated volunteers could achieve together in one day!

Dispose of the removed brambles.

lifting cut brambles with pitchfork
19. The brambles can be removed with a pitchfork…
pitchfork makes it easy to lift cut brambles
20. …and taken to a bonfire for a quick, controlled burn.

Useful tools for removing brambles by hand.

useful tools for bramble removal by hand
21. Tools: hedge cutter, rake, fork, pick, spade…
useful hand tools for bramble removal
22. …secateurs, welders gauntlets, loppers, etc.

For an overview of brambles, see our post on ‘How to Remove Brambles Effectively‘.