Wednesday, 17 January 2018

Mid week update... and some Ha-ha history...


Midweek and a lot of folk got a serious dumping of snow Tuesday evening and posted up pics on line out on their Fatbikes, we only got a dusting here near the coast and with the country roads here being minging with wet mud i have decided to abandon commuting until things pick up from the smeared conditions on the roads and with minging off road trails I'm happy to ride only sandy stuff until it improves or we get some good frost to dry and freeze everything,
So with a Fatbike in the Van i headed into work early to spread road salt before most other staff start to arrive,
That done i jumped on the bike to do a quick check around some of the estate and filmed around the paths by bike lights with the Go Pro, the snow covered ground providing enough light to get some usable film...

Song is `Maybe Some day` by The Barr Brothers...

Post work Nightride from coastkid71 on Vimeo.

Daylight and a few errands done and using a bike back and forth saves running a 4x4 short distances and is far healthier...


With the Festive activities over and all packed away it`s back on with Estate work and with the woodland re stock planting done it`s on with Ha-ha maintenance,
`what`s a Ha-ha` your probably asking thinking i`m pulling your arm?
Well below is a summertime pic of a Ha-ha, be it a short section of one,
You have probably never noticed, or paid much notice to  these old walls around the local big Estates here or wondered anything about them,
There are probably several miles of these sunken walls with two different heights either side around the Estate here and they run around all the farm fields and also through some of the woods...

Summertime pic...



History;
Over 200 years ago these walls were built with all the stones hand cut by tradesmen and constructed to prevent livestock which were kept to graze the grassland from getting into ornate lawns and gardens and the woodlands on large Estates...

These walls were of course hand built with no modern machinery to move them, the labour and size of construction is quite staggering when you see how many miles there must be of the walls around the Estate...


Bigger grand views...
The Ha-ha`s  also allowed an uninterrupted view across the landscape from the Big House giving the impression of the Estate looking larger and thus grander than that of a view with fences or walls or hedgerows, this being the Renaissance period where one up man ship and out doing your neighbouring Estate owner was all the rage...

Why called Ha-ha?
Those crossing the grounds were surprised coming across theses hidden ditches from the big house often said ~Ah-ha! on there discovery...


The name also possibly descends from France where they were built around the same time and so maybe the name `Ha-ha` derives from there...

Anyhow`s
Check out this Wiki page that also reads about their unusual use in Australia;
Ha-ha Wiki page


Maintenance;
Many as in the above pictures are kept strimmed for ornamental views around The Walled Garden in summer...


Elsewhere as well as forming a boundary these walls in some places act as water ditches from field drains-or were later adapted to do this.
As as well as drainage work sometimes required there is also Brambles and seedlings of trees that have sprouted along the wall tops that if left will eventually break open the walls and so these trees have to be felled and the stumps treated to prevent re growth...



Recycling;
Nothing goes to waist on the Estate we harvest, grass cuttings and leaves lifted go to compost,
And so do these trees with the smaller branches stacked to be chipped next month, we will use the bark chips around the Willow structures on the Willow Walk...


And the trunks are sawed, and then split for logs for firewood, then stored to dry out for fire wood for next winter...



These trees cut this week are growing in a coppice's of 4 or 5 trunks so have already been felled and are an estimated 40 years old counting the rings on the wood, so you can see how Estate maintenance has been on going for doing this already before this winter on the Ha-ha walls...


Let`s see if any more snow arrives as forecasted tonight and later this week...


More soon...

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