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BRITARCH  March 2012

BRITARCH March 2012

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Subject:

Re: Longest pre-industrial Drain

From:

burcu urundul <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

British archaeology discussion list <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Fri, 16 Mar 2012 12:05:29 +0000

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (277 lines)

Thank you for the reply Vince. :) Oh dear, I am familiar with hedge-laying
and coppicing as I used to help my local Wildlife Trust in Herts. I never
knew it could cause such complications! :)

Very best,

 - B

On 16 March 2012 11:57, Vince Russett <[log in to unmask]>wrote:

> Hi, Burcu
>
> No, it's almost universal practice nowadays to use mechanical diggers.
> This creates access problems on occasion, where hedges have to be
> removed to get at the ditch. I used to be the Hedgerow Officer for our
> authority (thank the gods I am now free of that poison chalice!), and
> when someone coppiced a hedge to get at a ditch to clean it out (the
> hedge stumps invariably grow back through the arisings: they have long,
> well-established root systems that support them while they struggle to
> the surface) people would phone to complain that someone had removed a
> hedge, against the 1997 Hedgerow Regulations, and I would have to waste
> time going out to look at it. I have had many a joint sympathetic rant
> with farmers about such complaints.
>
> The archaeological result of using diggers is that the material dug up
> is usally spread in a wider thinner band than when dug and thrown by
> hand.
>
> It used to be the practice to do hedgeing and ditching in the depths of
> winter, when there was less work on the farm in other areas for the
> farmworkers, but subject to the controls in the Wildlife and Countryside
> Act, it can now be done at any time of year.
>
> Vince
>
> Vince Russett
> County Archaeologist
> Development Management Group
> North Somerset Council
>
> Our Historic Environment Record is now on-line: Go to the North Somerset
> web site (http://www.n-somerset.gov.uk) then use the tabs Environment /
> Conservation / Archaeology/ Historic Environment Record. Enjoy!
>
> Landline: 01934 426456
> Mobile:    07919 265644
>
> Please note my work hours are usually 8am to 4pm
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: British archaeology discussion list
> [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of burcu urundul
> Sent: 16 March 2012 11:38
> To: [log in to unmask]
> Subject: Re: Longest pre-industrial Drain
>
> Thanks Vince. Is this still the method used today in Somerset? In the
> Fens
> it seems to have become quite an industrial process where farmers
> actually
> use mechanical diggers. You see them at work as you ride up on the train
> maintaining their irrigation ditches - there's a lot of water in the
> Fen. :)
>
>  - B
>
> On 16 March 2012 11:18, Vince Russett
> <[log in to unmask]>wrote:
>
> > Morning, chums!
> >
> > As a farmer's son with long experience of hand ditching (and
> > hedge-laying), I can categorically say that new ditches (when dug by
> > hand or machine) have the arisings spread out as close to the ditch as
> > possible. If you barrow it back to the end of the ditch, what do you
> do
> > with it then? The total absence of ditch-end mounds speaks for itself,
> I
> > think. (and to John Wood: sorry if this sounds sarky, it isn't meant
> to
> > be). When maintaining a ditch that has a hedge next to it, it is usual
> > to pile the arisings in the bottom of the adjacent hedge, and this is
> > what gives rise to most of the banks adjacent to ditches, even when
> the
> > hedge has disappeared.
> >
> > I should qualify this by saying this is how it's done in my part of
> > Somerset (Cheddar Valley and Mendip): I can't speak for Norfolk or
> > Cornwall or anywhere else, for that matter.
> >
> > Vince
> >
> > Vince Russett
> > County Archaeologist
> > Development Management Group
> > North Somerset Council
> >
> > Our Historic Environment Record is now on-line: Go to the North
> Somerset
> > web site (http://www.n-somerset.gov.uk) then use the tabs Environment
> /
> > Conservation / Archaeology/ Historic Environment Record. Enjoy!
> >
> > Landline: 01934 426456
> > Mobile:    07919 265644
> >
> > Please note my work hours are usually 8am to 4pm
> >
> > -----Original Message-----
> > From: British archaeology discussion list
> > [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of John Wood
> > Sent: 16 March 2012 10:15
> > To: [log in to unmask]
> > Subject: Re: Longest pre-industrial Drain
> >
> > =0AArchaeologists dig from the top downwards but I would have thought
> > most =
> > ditches are started at one end and continued along cutting 'into'
> > whatever =
> > material the ditch is cut into. I don't think in every case the
> > spoil=A0is =
> > just piled up onto the sides. Consider deep ditches, it soons becomes
> > consi=
> > derably difficult to 'pile' up the spoil on the sides as the spol has
> to
> > be=
> >  lifed out of the ditch bottom. It would be easier to barrow it back
> > along =
> > the ditch to its terminus and dumped there.=A0=A0=0A
> > =0A=0A________________=
> > ________________=0A From: Michael Haseler
> <[log in to unmask]>=0ATo:
> > Joh=
> > n Wood <[log in to unmask]>; British archaeology discussion list
> > <BRIT=
> > [log in to unmask]> =0ASent: Thursday, 15 March 2012,
> 15:36=0ASubject:
> > Re:=
> >  [BRITARCH] Longest pre-industrial Drain=0A  =0A=0AJohn,=0A=0Aa ditch
> > and a=
> >  tunnel are very different. =0A=0AA tunnel is dug from the end (or
> from
> > sha=
> > fts along the way), whereas=0A    a ditch is dug from the top. That
> > makes a=
> >  huge difference because=0A    the spoil from a ditch can just be
> dumped
> > al=
> > ong the edge, whereas=0A    the spoil from a tunnel ends up in a heap.
> > It a=
> > lso means you might=0A    e.g. consider a small railway for digging a
> > tunne=
> > l, whereas any old=0A    archaeologist can dig a
> > ditch.=0A=0AMike=0A=0AOn 1=
> > 5/03/2012 15:10, John Wood wrote: =0AOne of my geography teachers
> > defined a=
> >  river as a watercourse where the ground water is at the surface, this
> > make=
> > s sense when considering seasonal dry valleys that one gets in
> > chalkland. S=
> > o I suppose one could argue that the only difference between a
> drainage
> > tun=
> > nel and a a drainage canal is one is on the surface and the other not.
> > Othe=
> > r than that they are the same thing and topography usually defines the
> > diff=
> > erence.=A0=0A> =0A>=0A> =0A>From: Michael Haseler
> > <[log in to unmask]>=
> > =0A>To: John Wood <[log in to unmask]> =0A>Sent: Thursday, 15
> March
> > 20=
> > 12, 14:28=0A>Subject: Re: [BRITARCH] Longest pre-industrial Drain=0A>
> > =0A>O=
> > n 15/03/2012 11:24, John Wood wrote:=0A>>
> > ________________________________=
> > =0A>> =0A>>=A0 Keith Hunt wrote:=0A>> =0A>> Does [or did] the Car Dyke
> > real=
> > ly act as a drain?=0A>> It seems to be slightly elevated.=0A>>>>
> Indeed
> > it =
> > is slightly elevated but that is not=0A            uncommon for such
> > draina=
> > ge dykes. The drainage of the=0A            surrounding land, as it
> > dries o=
> > ut, sinks to a lower level of=0A            the drainage canal. The
> dark
> > an=
> > d peaty fenland area around=0A            the Wash has sunk quite
> alot.
> > Wat=
> > er in the past was pumped=0A            using windmills from the lower
> > drai=
> > nage channels into the=0A            higher drainage canals as the
> land
> > aro=
> > und the canals sunk.=0A>John,=0A>=0A>thanks for that. My original
> > question =
> > was about a drainage=0A            tunnel, which I was thinking had
> > nothing=
> >  to do with open=0A            drains on the fens. But in reality I
> > presume=
> >  it is all part=0A            of the agricultural improvements, and
> the
> > dra=
> > inage of peat=0A            & lochs in were part of the same movement
> > that =
> > led to=0A            drainage of the fens.=0A>=0A>For information, is
> > there=
> >  any point digging a drain ... I=0A            mean excavating a drain
> > ... =
> > archaeologically investigating=A0=0A            ... you know what I
> > mean.=
> > =0A>=0A>Particularly one on peat, where presumably the sediment is=0A
> > =
> >      going to look like the surrounding soil.=0A>=0A>Mike=0A>=0A>=0A>
> >
> >
> > Keeping in touch
> > Do it online - visit our website at www.n-somerset.gov.uk
> > Council Connect - for all streets, open spaces and environmental
> > protection enquiries call 01934 888 802 or email
> > [log in to unmask]
> > Care Connect - for all adult social services enquiries call 01275 888
> 801
> > or email [log in to unmask]
> > For all other enquiries call 01934 888 888 in office hours, or, in an
> > emergency, our out of hours service 01934 622 669.
> >
> > Privacy and confidentiality notice
> > --------------------------------------
> > The information contained in this email transmission is intended by
> North
> > Somerset Council for the use of the named individual or entity to
> which it
> > is directed and may contain information that is privileged or
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>
>
>
> --
> Burcu Urundul
>
> The Welwyn Archaeological Society
> http://welwynarchaeologicalsociety.wordpress.com/
>
> *The Birkbeck Archaeology Society*
> https://www.facebook.com/pages/Birkbeck-Archaeology-Society/21952923291
>



-- 
Burcu Urundul

The Welwyn Archaeological Society
http://welwynarchaeologicalsociety.wordpress.com/

*The Birkbeck Archaeology Society*
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Birkbeck-Archaeology-Society/21952923291

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