Wednesday, 18 March 2009

Here Here for the Hedge Fund

Joe was packing gear in the garage yesterday morning and I was washing down the walls in the kitchen while a wee man from the Yellow Pages fixed the integrated dishwasher. One tiny part, a £6.28 float switch, a good clean of water tanks with caustic soda provided by me and it is working perfectly again. Much glee all round as that has cost us less than £50 whilst the replacement dishwasher was going to hit us a lot harder!
In the afternoon my frustration at playing this waiting game for a completion date drove me out of the house with the dogs for a good long walk. I headed out on the fen walking along the top of one of the drainage dykes and came back to the cottage via a drove (road), some 7.5 miles. There are occasional glimpses of what an attractive environment the fens once were with hedgerows and majestic ash trees to dress the flatness of the farmland and red brick farm buildings to add a bit of colour.
The vast majority of the fenland now is a monotonous windswept landscape with no hedges and no trees; a landscape that has been fashioned by whatever EU subsidy was available to farmers, hedges out- bigger fields, 'that will do nicely' as they took the money while grubbing out the ancient hedge. Of late farmers are leaving the margins of the fields for wildlife and planting small copses for bird cover, another farming subsidy at work though the results are a big improvement. There must also be hedging subsidies to be had now though because there is evidence that new hedges are being planted. So hear, hear for the hedge fund, more we say more.. Give us back an attractive varied fenland environment please...

3 comments:

Martin said...

Shouldn't that be "Here here"?
Regardless, I wholeheartedly agree with the sentiment.
The wheel of agri-euro fashion turns, but you cannot put back what has gone.

Nb Caxton said...

Martin, Oops, header amended. I know you cannot turn back the clock but this kind of 'progress' is to be regretted I think?
Lesley

Martin said...

Grubbing out the hedgerows and filling in the ditches was always a dodgy idea at best.
Some of the fields between Rippingale and Risegate are so large you can't see from one side to the other!
(In earlier years I was employed to walk across them, so I know)