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Hedging our Best

Elm Tree, Stratford Road KMOC

Dutch Elm disease wrought havoc on elms in copses and woods. Survivors are often solitary trees in hedgerows that kept socially distanced from their more gregarious cousins.

Pictured here is one such healthy English Elm, to be found in the hedgerow near Parsonage Farm.

There once was a line of elms along the church side of Graddidge Lane, when it was Grabbage Lane. All succumbed.

Rape seed pods at a field edge KMOC

The rape seed pods have been harvested for oil but for the odd straggler at the field edges survives as here.

In September 1624 Henry Sherfield, lawyer and MP, who also grew madder and woad in Stratford, recorded 2s 6d in his accounts “Paid for cutting of the Rape seed at Stratford and threshing of it and winnowing” and “makinge the same into oyle . . .” [1]

What has been is what will be, and what has been done is what will be done, and there is nothing new under the sun. [2]


{1] Bettey J 2005 (Ed) Wiltshire Farming In The Seventeenth Century. Wiltshire Record Society Vol 57 pxxix

[ 2] Ecclesiastes 1:9

Kerry O'Connor


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