Mucky work

      The smaller dykes that we walk along with the two terriers have recently been cleared of choking reeds, weed and rushes but the land itself remains stubbornly wet and sticky.
      To try and solve the problem the farmer has dug out a set of old, hand drawn maps showing where the land drains were laid, a chain apart, six to seven feet down under the field fifty to sixty years ago. The terracotta pipes were surrounded by gravel when they were originally set but over this period of time they have filled up with silt and ochre and stop fulfilling their function of draining surplus water into the dyke, then on to the main drains.

      Enter the super, high pressure hose, brought all the way from Holland. A hose that makes its way along the pipe, in this case for over one hundred and fifty yards, dislodging silt and blowing it backwards and, finally, out of the pipe. In a day the two operators cleared sixty or more of these drainage pipes of silt and roots.
       When we walked the dogs along the brink the next morning the filtered water running from the pipes was so clear you could have added it to your single malt.
      Later in the day of course.