My ancestors loved planting evergreen shrubs such as laurel and to a lesser extent, thank goodness, ponticum rhododendrons, to give more interest to the woodland walks. That of course was all very well when there where lots of men, as there where when I was a boy, who every year, armed with sickles, would trim the laurel growth back down. But then one day there was no money to pay such men anymore and the laurel and ponticum left to itself went rampant till the woodland walks became literally impenetrable jungle. For more than thirty years I have been happily hacking away at these evergreen monsters using them, in effect, as a form of outdoor gymnasium, and getting not only fitter and thinner as a result but also enjoying a feeling of immense satsfaction at viewing the resultant improvement in my woodland walks. A key part of the process is -of course - the bonfire. I suppose in the current world a whole generation is going to grow up who have never made a bonfire as either they have been forbidden under some Health and Safety rule or banned as contributing to global warming. That is sad as making a bonfire and getting one going to such a pitch that it will burn anything however green and full of sap it is that you can thow on it - is a noramlly highly skilled process. Not though at the time of writing. The hot summer has meant that bonfires virtually light themsleves and burn furiously within minutes. Oh what fun it all is and Oh how better my woodlands look because of the magic of the bonfire.