Wednesday, 17 August 2011

cleaning ditches

In the gap between harvesting one crop and preparing the ground for the next, there’s time to do more tidying and clearing around the farm. I managed to pick a few blackberries from the hedge before the digger in the photo above started clearing out the ditch between our neighbour’s field and The Ley, which is the field where the bridleway links Great Slamseys Farm to the Great Notley Country Park. This ditch is particularly important as there are so many land drains running into it, taking the water out of the field and into the system of ditches and rivers. Part of this field used to be called Springfield so it would probably be very waterlogged in places if the drainage didn’t work properly. Old farm maps show that in 1849 there were three fields named Springfield, Little Leigh and Old Leigh that were amalgamated by 1895 and renamed The Ley. We always pronounce it “lay” but maybe we are wrong and it should be “lee”.

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