I am trying to work out how to effectively keep vegetation under control on a 1.5 acre section, a large part of which is on the photo below. It is covered with high grass (now much higher than on the photo) with some shrubs of willow, gorse and broom:

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The goals are:

  • To keep the gorse/broom down as local authorities require so;
  • To make the section look nicer and easy to walk/traverse as I am planning to put a residential dwelling on it, so certain spots need to be clear for vehicle access, foundation and drainlaying works etc.

Several options have been on the table:

  1. Spraying. This used to be done by the previous owners but I am not keen on it as I want to keep the land ecologically clean with the views to start gardening on it at some point and/or keeping goats;
  2. Mechanically clear it up once (e.g. with a digger) and let sheep graze on it. Too much hassle with the sheep for now, but maybe in future;
  3. Turn it into a lawn or food forest, or otherwise manage what vegetation grows there. This appears to be a whole science to dive into. A very good but not quick solution;
  4. Mechanically and selectively clear/trim it now and again. This is what this question is about.

So, what machinery and/or instruments would be the most suitable here? Mowers? Diggers? Bulldozers? Hand-held trimmers and chainsaws? Note that there is a slope on the section (roughly about 15-20% of it) which would be quite unsafe to drive a small machine on, but the rest should be fine.


2 Answers 2


I would use a string trimmer. A good one. I think you should go to a shop and ask them. Such trimmers have a lot of different head (string, blades, saw blades, etc.), for most of usage. There are many possibilities, and it depends also on local conditions: do you have stones or rocks? In such case, you need a more powerful engine but just strong string (for safety reasons). If there is no stones, you can go with blades.

Personally I have two good one trimmers: one usually with strings, and the old one with a saw blade (similar to this one). In such manner I can cut most of the shrubs, and for annual maintenance, the string trimmer is enough.

Good manual tools are also necessary (but this for all gardening stuffs).

Why trimmers and manual tools? To improve landscape, one should really look at every place, and do selection. With large machines, one will remove good and bad stuffs together, so resetting nature. The outcome is unknown, and it requires regularly maintenance.

You can ask to shops, also how to transform your land in a pasture. Possibly you will have some tricks that work in your place, and some good seeds. Pasture is a low maintenance lawn, which can be transformed easily to other typologies because it fights the weeds.


I can't see how big is the area you want to clear and whether you are asking about machinery/equipment for one time job or for regular maintenance.

If you are looking for something to clear the area initially and do it fast, I would recommend hiring tractor with crane/boom mower. (After seeing that excavator in your picture, I guess you might have access to other machinery.)

Tractors won't have trouble moving on sloped terrain and their crane/boom mower can be adjusted to mow in different angles and height and reach. Also, this kind of mower has sufficient power to deal even with smaller trees.

Tractor boom mower

If this is an overkill there are also riding mowers specialized for mowing on sloped terrains (up to 30 degrees).

The safest and probably most profitable approach (regarding later maintenance) would be getting petrol brush cutter/trimmer as Giacomo recommended.

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