48OE Blog  
May 2

Written by: 48OE Admin
02/05/2012 14:47  RssIcon

Well the last week has seen a new chapter in Herefordshire life. Like many, we had a fantastic start to the year with beautiful weather and the odd sun-downer sitting outside. April has proved very different with traditional heavy showers and only occasional sun.

Nothing, but nothing, prepared me for the last week. Living so close to the Welsh Border, perhaps I should have been better prepared. For a period of about 36 hours we experienced almost constant lashing rain, of the very heavy and wet variety. This stopped for about 18 hours before it started again for a further 24 hours. I am sure very soon eminent gentle farmers with weather stations will decide how much rain fell and proclaim it a record. All I know is that I have never seen the like!

We had two and a half large ponds; we now have two very deep ponds and one lake. Water washed down the roads and roared through gullies into our roadside pond (now lake). The biggest shock came on Sunday last when I opened up my workshop to find a stream running through it. I kid you not! Fortunately, I store nothing on the concrete floor so there was no damage. It was however obvious that we had a problem.

Struggling through elder and brambles to the rear of our barns I was greeted by two streams from neighbouring land converging about five metres from our steel shedding. Three hours later after I had constructed a relief channel and the water level in the workshop began to abate. I can state that digging in wet sloppy clay as rain lashes down is no fun. It was clear that a ditch used to run along the course of my excavations but over the years had silted up and become overgrown.

Just when you think all is well, Nature has a way of biting you in the rear. It also illustrates changing farm practice as one of the sources of all the water was from a very large field that used to be an apple orchard. The trees were grubbed out and it was ploughed for an arable crop. The water just ran like a river down the headland.

So the moral of the story is - balmy March days do not make a summer. Plus I will have to give 'She who must not be named' a clear maintenance plan for ditch clearing and drain laying this summer - in my dreams!