22nd Apr


The humble tile drain, unseen and somewhat forgotten

The humble tile drain, unseen and somewhat forgotten

How things change.  It’s not long ago that the only media interest that would have been shown in sheep was an article in a farming journal, or a paper back “Henry Brewis” special describing how to mother on a pet lamb (this usually involved a net stake and a wuffler).  Now we have a week’s worth of one hour prime time daily slots on the BBC devoted to nothing but sheep.  I can only assume it is because of the Foresight Report, Climate Change report, and other such reality checks, the world is beginning to understand the importance of food (and therefore the farmer).

So what needs highlighting next?

One of the most obvious things that became apparent over this last wet winter, is the importance of good drains.  I don’t mean dredging of rives on Somerset levels either.  I mean the humble, often forgotten tile drain doing its work for 100’s of years keeping the water table down, soil structure possible, food production massively increased.

A lot of tile systems were severely tested this winter and it would appear a lot need at least a good overhaul and perhaps renewal.  But where is the money to do that going to come from, especially on a tenanted farm with a short-term tenancy.

Perhaps George Monbiot would like to campaign for better drainage!  After all the only places that absorbed the rain this winter, were where there were drains and despite the paddling and trampling of 1000’s of “woolly maggot” feet these areas remained dry all winter and are not now water-logged, turning the grass yellow and running off water in rivers.

Have you spotted the flaw in this theory?  The drains all end up putting the water in the river as well!

Mr Monbiot – have you not heard of gravity?

Fred Cactus


22 April 2014

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