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SITE 183 NORTH STOCKING

OS REF:SK57321290-SK57801350

Date: 9th October 2003

This was our first visit to walk the area and see where all the fields fitted on the map due to the removal of hedgerows. I was keen to check out a Field Pond, Pond 21, that was on the old maps. After a very hot, dry summer it was totally dried up so will need to be checked out again. There was a very large boulder in front of the pond that could have a history and Brian will check this out. The pond was completely covered by vegetation. A return visit will be made to look at the hedgerows and trees.

Date: 7th February 2004

We made a return visit and the water level was good after the winter rain. It will be interesting to see how it develops over the coming years, but a little bit of scrub clearance would not go amiss.

Date: 27th November 2004

This was a visit to measure the trees, especially the ones isolated in the middle of the field before the crops grew. There was a good-sized Oak Tree 354 in the middle of the field and two smaller Ash Trees 355 and 356 also isolated and surrounded by the crop. It is good that they survived the digger. Four more trees were recorded in the hedgerow field boundary and one Oak Tree 361 was on the field boundary but this boundary was a substantial ditch. This part of the field boundary is also part of the Ancient Parish Boundary, which is being recorded under our RAPS Survey.

It was good to see Pond 21 so full of water and the huge boulder still there.

Date: 27th June 2007

We are now working in North Stocking recording the Rothley Ancient Parish Boundary (RAPS). Due to the very high rainfall this month, the highest since records began, everywhere is very overgrown making it impossible to check out features such as boundary stones and ditches. However, I was interested to see the species in the hedgerow to see if a link could be made with those in the Calico and Woollen Field Site 273. This is because the ancient boundary takes a very sharp turn along the hedgerow fronting West Cross Lane before another very sharp turn to continue in the same direction as in Site 273. I did not find a continuation of species as I had hoped but a continuation of those along the left hand boundary of Gypsy Lane looking towards Swithland Lane. This is very interesting, as you would expect the boundary to be Gypsy Lane, as this would keep a straight line but not the case then and not the case now. Further research needed to see why the boundary runs as it does.

Date: 4th July 2007

I measured the trees along West Cross Lane that are in Rothley Parish and found two good Oaks Trees 583 and 584 both with a girth of 3.9m and another Oak Tree 585 with a girth of 3.3m.

There are three other good oaks on the other side of West Cross Lane but they are not in the current Rothley Parish.

There is a good piece of hedgerow on the boundary with Site 260 Rothley Grange Field and I want to search for evidence of ancient stumps but must wait for the winter when the vegetation has died down. This boundary follows quite a curve so must have a story to tell.

Working diagram of trees in Site 183 North Stocking. October 2003

Site 183 with Rothley Ancient Parish Boundary to the left. December 2007

Site 272 Triangle Field to the left and Site 183 North Stocking to the right. Rothley Ancient Parish Boundary runs between these sites. December 2007

Site 183 looking to West Cross Lane along Rothley Ancient Parish Boundary. December 2007

Site 183 Looking to West Cross Lane. December 2007

Site 183 Looking to Rothley village. December 2007

Site 183 Ancient Oak Tree 583 with a girth of 3.9m. at SK57471345. July 2007

Site 183 Ancient Oak Tree 584 with a girth of 3.9m at SK57541349. July 2007

Site 183 Ancient Oak Tree 585 with a girth of 3.3m at SK57561351 on West Cross Lane. July 2007

Site 183 Ancient Oak Tree 354 with a girth of 3.8m at SK57451333. November 2004

Site 183 Ash Tree 355 with a girth of 1.7m at SK57611321. November 2004

Site 183 Ash Tree 356 with a girth of 2.3m at SK57641319. November 2004

Site 183 Ash Tree 357 with a girth of 2.0m at SK57701310. November 2004

Site 183 Ancient Oak Tree 358 with a girth of 4.4m at SK57651301. November 2004

Site 183 Ancient Oak Tree 359 with a girth of 4.0m at SK57591298. November 2004

Site 183 Ash Tree 360 with a girth of 1.9m at SK57551295. November 2004

Site 183 Ancient Oak Tree 361 with a girth of 4.0m at SK57471309 on the Rothley Ancient Parish Boundary. December 2007

Site 183 Ancient Boundary Tree 361 as above in July 2005

Site 183 Looking to West Cross Lane with Gypsy Lane towards the left. October 2003

Site 183 to the right at the back and Site 196 Windmill Field in the foreground. Looking to The Ridings. Site 182 Stocking Sod to the left at the back. February 2004

Site 183 behind the drain and Site 196 Windmill Field in the foreground. Looking to West Cross Lane. February 2004

Site 183 Pond 21 North Stocking Pond. Brian on an interesting stone. Boundary Stone? November 2004

Site 183 Pond 21 North Stocking Pond. February 2004

Site 183 by Pond 21. Brian still checking out the significant stone. February 2004

Site 183 Pond 21 dried up in September 2003

Site 183 The significant stone still stands by the side of Pond 21. September 2003

ROTHLEY ANCIENT PARISH SURVEY (RAPS)

STINT W10

Date: 1) 9th May 2007

2) 27th June 2007

Observers: Brian Verity and Marion Vincent

Location: 1) From rear of garden of 201 Swithland Lane. Rothley to West Cross Lane

2) Over West Cross Lane into field opposite above hedgerow.

OS Ref: SK 57351344

SK 57411320

Map Title: 1) Site 273 Calico and Woollen Field

2) Site 183 North Stocking

The first part of the stint is of 20metres as this takes us to the roadside of West Cross Lane. At this point we go over the road, turn right with a slight right-angled kink and into the fields once more.

In Stint W10a we have very wide, thick blackthorn, a small amount of hawthorn and field rose. At the end of this part there is an Ancient Ash with many large dead branches, looking very much like many of the Ash trees we have seen as part of the Parish Boundary.

From this point there is a mystery! Why does the boundary, after crossing the road, run along the roadside hedgerow for 10metres and then turn at a right angle to continue in a westerly direction as in Stint W10a? This final part of Stint W10b hedgerow does line up with the hedgerow running along Gypsy Lane so why this dog's leg in the ancient boundary?

June is not a good time to be 'rapping' but I wanted to have a good look at the hedgerow species to see if they were a continuation of those found in the stints recorded from W5. I was particularly keen to see if dogwood was present but no sign. This is mainly elm with gaps most likely from dead elm. Looking back along Gypsy Lane one side of that hedgerow contained a lot of elm making it look as though this was once a boundary linking up with W10.

Galls were found on the elm.

A return visit will be made in the autumn when the vegetation has died back.

STINT W11

Date: 28th November 2007

Observers: Brian Verity and Marion Vincent

Location: Hedgerow from West Cross Lane to The Ridings

OS Ref: SK573313355-SK57391323

Map Title: Site 183 North Stocking

Our return to RAPS after the summer when the vegetation was too overgrown to see the features. Slight overlap of OS reference at the start.

We see a continuation of a very good ditch, made to easy to see as the farmer had cut back the hedgerow and cleared out the ditches. The advantage to cutting back the hedgerow is that there is a great deal of elm, which would die unless, cut back to about 1.5m.

This stint has small amounts of elder and hawthorn but 85% is elm and there is evidence of ancient tree stumps.

STINT W12

Date: 28th November 2007

Observers: Brain Verity and Marion Vincent

Location: Hedgerow from West Cross Lane to The Ridings

OS Ref: SK57391323-SK57441312

Map Title: Site 183 North Stocking

This stint runs at the back of the property called 'Pax' on The Ridings and this part of the boundary has not been cut back by the farmer. At the back of 'Pax' is an ancient multi-stumped elder and an ash tree with a girth of about 1 metre. As in Stint W11, there is a lot of elm but, past the house, there is very little hedgerow left but still an excellent ditch running the full length of this stint.

STINT W13

Date: 1st December 2007

Observers: Brian Verity and Marion Vincent

Location: Hedgerow from West Cross Lane to The Ridings

OS Ref: SK57441312-SK57481301

Map Title: Site 183 North Stocking

At the start of this stint is an Ancient Oak Tree 361. There is the further remnant of a stump just a short way away.

Most of this stint has no hedgerow but still an excellent ditch. Where there is hedgerow we now see hawthorn and blackthorn and the end of the elm.

STINT W14

Date: 1st December 2007

Observers: Brian Verity and Marion Vincent

Location: Stint 14a is the end of the hedgerow from West Cross Lane to The Ridings. Stint 14b crosses The Ridings to run alongside Hickling's Spinney Site 270 and recorded from Site 269 West Plain Close

OS Ref: SK57481301-SK57461298-SK57401291

Map Title: As above

We complete the hedgerow along the boundary with Site 183 North Stocking by completing Stint 14a to the road called The Ridings. The ditch continues right to the end of this part of the stint.

In March 2002 I recorded a small patch of Dogs Mercury, an Ancient Woodland indicator plant, to the right of the gateway at the end of 14a. There is also the remains of an ancient tree stump, which would have been a major tree on this boundary. We are now ready to cross The Ridings to start on the boundary running up to where we started on the 15th October 2003.

Date: 23rd January 2008

After a morning on the 9th January 08 just walking and looking at this part of the boundary we re-started our recording on the 23rd after a lot of wet weather during this month.

Walking over The Ridings we found excellent remains of the Rothley Ancient Parish Boundary within Hickling's Spinney. The ancient boundary is not the field boundary, but the latter runs parallel to the ancient boundary, which is a really good ditch within the spinney. There is a pond, POND 45, at The Ridings end of Hickling's Spinney in Stint W14B with the ancient boundary ditch flowing in and out. This pond was full of water following all the rain in January 2008. This pond is shown on the Official Boundary Survey of 1884.

As it was very difficult to record the actual ancient parish boundary along the ditch due to lack of light and thick, tangled vegetation, we photographed and recorded the field boundary hedge with additional photographs taken of the ditch at appropriate accessible points.

The field boundary hedgerow the length of this stint is a good mix of hawthorn, blackthorn, ash and hazel with small amounts of elder. There is also a good amount of field rose. At the start of Stint 14B there is a large amount of snowberry, which is a very intrusive due to its suckering habit. As this hedgerow is built up to the edge of Hickling's Spinney there is also intrusion of small trees from the spinney towards the light. Due to the 'modern' mix of species this hedgerow would come out at a good age but the size of the stems and trunks does not indicate this to be ancient.

In the area between the ancient ditch and the field boundary there is a lot of Dogs Mercury and Bluebells. In one area there is a small patch of snowdrops.

Along the bank of the ditch there is evidence of ancient tree stumps and there is an Ash tree, Tree 597, in Stint 14B with a girth of 3.5m.

NORTH STOCKING SITE 183 IN 2015

Public Footpath from The Ridings to Lodge Farm starts in North Stocking. February 2015

Public Footpath on the right hand boundary. Looking to Rothley village. February 2015

Looking to West Cross Lane. February 2015

Looking to West Cross Lane and Gipsy Lane with Site 272 Triangle Field to the left of the ditch. February 2015

Along the Public Footpath with Site 181 Stocking over the right hand hedgerow. February 2015

Ancient Oak Tree 358 on the boundary with Site 181 Stocking. February 2015

Pond 21 at the top of North Stocking on the boundary with Site 181 Stocking. February 2015

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