Scene 6 Burnley

Back on the road to Burnley, you can occasionally see a common feature called 'ridge and furrow', where instead of a smooth surface, the field has a series of ridges each separated by a furrow. These are best seen in winter, when the sun is low sending shadows across the land.

Pasture to Plough

& Furrow
Ridge & Furrow  across central field in Briercliffe  nr Burnley

A lot of the land presently used for animals could be used for crops. You can see on that land now in many areas the 'ridge and furrow' of bygone days. These are fields where the soil was turfed up into ridges to increase the surface area and provide better drainage. When you see such a field it tells you that this land was growing crops several hundred years ago. As late as 1842, there were 400 acres of arable land in Briercliffe. The Tithe Map of the time refers to wheat fields and rye. But barley for brewing and oats as the staple food crop would also have been grown. Potato was mentioned in the names of four fields. Now it is just sheep. Some say 'sheepwrecked'..

Along the road in Accrington, you can find allotments above Accrington - in Stanhill– overlooking the moors

Mind you if you do fancy ploughing up the local pasture you have to carry out an Environmental Impacts Assessment according to Environmental Impact Assessment (Agriculture) Regulations 2006."The Environmental Impact Assessment (Agriculture) (England) (No.2) Regulations 2006 Act protects uncultivated land and semi-natural areas from being damaged by agricultural work, and guards against possible negative environmental effects from the restructuring of rural land holdings". However it is hard to see how 'growing veg' is a negative environmental impact - growing and eating more fruit and veg is probably the single most important act for promoting mmore sustainable food.

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