Interpreting your past for the future

“We are passionate about history, memories, objects, places, buildings, archaeology and the rich history of the landscape."

A Watermeadow

A Watermeadow is a field by a river which has been altered to allow river water in winter, to flow over it in a controlled manner. The chalk geology and landscape of the West Country meant that this historic system of using and controlling river water during the winter and early spring worked particularly well.

The river water which was usually warmer than the colder air, protected the grass from frost, allowing it to grow at a time of year when it usually didn’t. This gave the farm animals more to eat, as well as stopping uncontrolled flooding from making the river meadows unusable.

Watermeadows are a special part of our landscape in the south west of England. A Watermeadow is a field by a river which has been altered to allow river water in winter, to flow over it in a controlled manner.

The chalk geology and landscape of the West Country meant that this historic system of using and controlling river water during the winter and early spring worked particularly well. The river water which was usually warmer than the colder air, protected the grass from frost, allowing it to grow at a time of year when it usually didn’t. This gave the farm animals more to eat, as well as stopping uncontrolled flooding from making the river meadows unusable.

Even today the channels that were cut to divert the flow of water can be seen from the ground and the air and people who use the rivers today, can see the remains of the structures and hatches that were created hundreds of years ago.