TG4501 : Stacks of reeds

taken 11 years ago, near to Fritton, Norfolk, Great Britain

Stacks of reeds
Stacks of reeds
In January, tidy stacks of harvested reeds line this section of the private track that traverses The Island: some right beside the track and some others above, on the high bank of the River Waveney. See also > TG4501 : Crop of reeds. The reeds are grown in > TG4400 : Commercial reed bed and River Waveney beyond. The Island is a roughly triangular-shaped area consisting of marsh pastures, surrounded by the River Waveney in the east and the River Yare in the west; the New Cut connects both rivers. It forms the border in the southwest by cutting diagonally across it from Reedham in the NW to St Olaves in the SE. This land forms part of Pettingell's Level.
Pettingell's Level
The Pettingell family have lived on the Island for at least two centuries and their sector of marsh, an area encompassing about 430 acres, is known as Pettingell's Level. Their house is situated isolated on the marsh beside the dyke on the west bank of the River Waveney, and marked on modern maps as Seven Mile House, because it is 7 miles distant from Yarmouth. It is said to once have been a pub or lodging house for wherry-men.

Grass was the only crop and the only harvest was hay. The grazing season started in the early days of April when the cattle came down from the farms or directly from the markets, and it traditionally ended on 31 October.

The Pettigells were a family of marshmen, who apart from looking after their own smallholdings and livestock were also looking after the marshes, including the livestock from different owners grazing them. Until shortly after WW2, the families living on the Island used to make their own hay on the ronds, the strips of land situated between the natural river bank and the man-made embankments (the dykes) which usually run parallel to it. The ronds at the Pettingell Level were about 60 yards wide on each side of the river. When the water level in the river rose after the dredging and widening of the harbour at Great Yarmouth to enable access for larger ships, hay making became impossible as the resulting higher tides often flooded the ronds and swept away the cut grass. Only a small area adjacent to the house is today still accessible. All the other ronds are now used for growing reeds.
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TG4501, 82 images   (more nearby )
  (find more nearby)
Date Taken
Thursday, 24 January, 2008   (more nearby)
Thursday, 24 January, 2008
Crops   (more nearby)
Subject Location
OSGB36: geotagged! TG 457 013 [100m precision]
WGS84: 52:33.2732N 1:37.4176E
Camera Location
OSGB36: geotagged! TG 456 013
View Direction
East-southeast (about 112 degrees)
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