The prehistoric linear boundary at Bridestones

Working on the prehistoric linear boundary at Bridestones Moor for the National Trust today and this morning I got drenched. My 20-year-old waterproofs let me down. It rained so heavy we sat it out at one point in the pickup. But the good news is the new fencing is now finished. It has taken three winters. A swathe of forest 10 metres wide either side of the old fenceline has been cleared, cut up and stacked into brushwood piles, and new stock fencing erected. This is to protect the 930-metre long prehistoric earthwork that forms the boundary of the National Trust’s Bridestones Moor.

The Forestry Commission planted their trees almost up to the boundary and over the decades the forest has encroached across the earthwork and onto the moor. Historic England said that the tree roots were destroying the archaeology and the trees had to come out. But no machinery could be used for felling for fear of doing even worse damage. So the Forestry Commission offered to the National Trust a strip of their land provided we clear the trees. By hand. Bridestones is grazed by a herd of hardy cattle which should keep the moor clear of young saplings.

Now all that’s left is to remove the old fencing so the cattle can have a free-range.
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