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Photo Article from the Welsh Hovel - the marshland on our fields as the river rises

Tom Winnifrith
Sunday 2 January 2021

Most of the furthest of our fields is under water for about half the year. A good quarter of the second and largest of our fields is in a similar way. But we were just about able to walk along the edges of both fields between the marsh and the river itself today. The Dee is high, right at the top of the bank on this,the Welsh, side. Over among the infidels on the English side, it has already spread into the fields.

I made the schoolboy error of wearing walking boots. The Mrs was in Wellies as was Joshua. Jaya was on my back. Some water got into Joshua’s wellies although at times I was carrying both him and Jaya, showing there is life in the old dog yet. But at lunch both Joshua and I sat in bare feet while our boots and socks dried on a radiator at our new favourite pub, the Raven in Farndon. A smug Mrs was dry inside her wellies.    

The first photo is in the second of our riverside fields looking up at the Church. It is now marsh for all bar a 5-10 yard strip next to the river and if the Dee rises by much more it will be impassable. The two below it are from the far end of the much larger field looking back to the Ha Ha and the barns of the Welsh Hovel. At that end of the field there is, for now,no issue with flooding.

I have plans for some tree planting in the larger inner field not to either damage the marsh as it is home to frogs, toads, snakes and bird life and I am,as you know, a keen greenie. Nor are my plans to celebrate the Queen’s anniversary this year as I am a lifelong Republican. But I have plans anyway of which more at a later date. Suffice to say that while the Mrs lies in bed looking at facebook I do searches on suitable planting conditions for chestnut trees, whether goats can eat sweet chestnuts, and other matters of that nature which, these days, interest me greatly.  

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About Tom Winnifrith
Tom Winnifrith is the editor of When he is not harvesting olives in Greece, he is (planning to) raise goats in Wales.
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