SITE 160 SOUTH HALL FIELD

OS REF:SK588120

Date: 18th April 2003

There is a public footpath running through the top of this field but I have permission from Fred to go there. This field is pasture; empty at present but used a lot for horse grazing. There are a lot of trees of varying girths, some having a lot of dead branches but all are oak and will be recorded in due course. There is a Field Pond in the top left hand corner that serves two fields but now not used and looking neglected. This has been recorded as Pond 14 in this survey.

This field had a carriageway that ran from the road to the Rothley Temple and known as Lord Macaulay's Walk, Site 222 Thomas Babington's Carriageway, as his carriage would use this route to the main road. There are still trees showing the route and these are of varying girths so it would be interesting to research to see if I can find the date of planting and why some were cut down and replanted. There is evidence along this walk of sites where the trees have been removed.

At the time of this visit I recorded the pond and took photographs of the trees, as it will be difficult when they are in full leaf to get good views.

13th September 2003

Our first visit to record the trees when Brian and Janice Verity joined me. There are 45 trees on this site so it will take more than one visit so we decided to start with the remaining trees on Lord Macaulay's Walk. These average out to a girth of 2.8 with others being of Ancient Tree status. As I mentioned above, I hope to find historical evidence of the planting or use of these trees. All the trees are Oak apart from one Ash, which is growing on the boundary with the Allotment Field. I will need to do a more detailed survey to identify the oak species. On the boundary with the road there is evidence of old parkland railings and the large stump of a tree that could have been at the start of Lord Macaulay's Walk. One large tree on the walk was blown down in the 1987 storm but it has been left where it fell.

17th September 2003

We returned to the site and recorded more trees.

24th September 2003

Our final visit to do the recordings. I will now make a further visit to identify the species of oak and take photographs of the trees and the landscape features.

Although the trees do not meet the criteria for Ancient Tree status I decided to record them all for their historical interest and their vulnerability due to some being in a rather bad state.

27th September 2003

I made a visit to put tree numbers to my photographs and to see which ones still needed to have a photographic record. When I arrived I heard the sound of a chainsaw from the fallen oak and went to investigate. A member of the Woodcock farm staff was sawing off three pieces to give to a local Italian who wanted to put some oak branches in his wine to give it an 'oaked' taste!

I then asked about the dark marks on all the trees and it seems that they were painted on to deter the horses from damaging the bark, the taste not being to their liking. The horses had however been grazing the bark on the fallen tree but at least it keeps them off the live ones. There have been no horses in the field since the start of this survey earlier in the year.

I have checked my records and see that the complete site is covered by a Tree Preservation Order as a 'group'

11th January 2006

Although it looks as though the site has not been visited for over two years we have used this field as an access to the Rothley Ancient Parish Boundary (RAPS) which is a survey recorded separately so have kept it monitored. It is now used extensively for horses, the ground is very churned up and they use the pond as a source of water. The pond has been tidied up since my initial survey in 2003 and was today very full of water but plant life on the margins destroyed by the horses.

Our reason for visiting today was for Terry Sheppard to dig out an interesting piece of granite near the public footpath stile leading down the narrow pathway into Hallfields Lane. Brian is interested to know if this was Windmill Lane and if so, was a windmill built here on a high point in the village? The stone was dug out and photographed, photo in the file. Brian is researching the name of the footpath to see where the information about this came from. Terry also dug out pieces of slate. An interesting piece of granite. A milestone? A boundary stone? Windmill foundation? Just a piece of granite!

I am sure that further investigation will take place.

Site 160 Working diagram of tree locations. April 2003

Site 160 Left to right:
Tree 195, 194 and 198. Pond 14 on the right. April 2003

Site 160 Tree 190 on the left. Tree 189 on the right. Looking to Loughborough Road. Pond 13 Allotment Gardens Pond is behind the hedgerow on the left. April 2003

Site 160 Tree 189 in the centre. Looking towards the hedgerow bordering Pond 13. April 2003

Site 160 Old parkland railings on South Hall Field boundary with old A6. September 2003

Site 160 Old boundary tree stump on old A6 boundary. September 2003

Site 160 Left to right:
Trees 166, 164, 168, 169 and 170. September 2003

Site 160 Left to right:
Trees 167, 165, 163, 161 and 189. September 2003

Site 160. Left to right:
Trees 166, 164 and 170. September 2003

Site 160. Left to right:
Trees 167, 165, 163 and 161. looking to Allotment Gardens Pond and Field Site 159. April 2003

Site 160 Looking to old A6. Trees 189 and 190 on the left. Thomas Babington's Carriageway Site 222 through the trees on the right. April 2003

Site 160. Looking through the trees towards the old A6 through Thomas Babington's Carriageway Site 222. April 2003

Site 160 with fallen Oak Tree 160 which blew down in the gales of 2000. Brian and Janice measuring the girth of 2.9m. September 2003

Site 160 Oak Tree 160 tidied up. July 2004

Site 160 Oak Tree 160 still there. November 2005

Site 160 Looking to old A6. April 2003

Site 160 Left to right;
Trees 175, 169, 170, 166, 171 and 172. April 2003

Site 160 Oak Tree 170 in the centre. September 2003

Site 160 Oak Tree 171. September 2003

Site 160 Oak Tree 172 on the left and Oak Tree 171 centre back. September 2003

Site 160 Oak Tree 172. September 2003

Site 160 Tree 173 on the left and Tree 174 on the right. September 2003

Site 160 Ancient Oak Tree 175. September 2003

Site 160 Tree 177 centre and Tree 180 to the right. September 2003

Site 160 Tree 178. September 2003

Site 160 Tree 179 centre and Tree 181 just to the right. September 2003

Site 160 Tree 182. September 2003

Site 160 Tree 184. September 2003

Site 160 Tree 185 to the left and Tree 186 to the right. September 2003

Site 160 Tree 181 in the centre and Tree 183 to its right at the back. September 2003

Site 160 Tree 187. September 2003

Site 160 Pond 14 South Hall Field Pond. April 2003

Site 160 Pond 14 South Hall Field Pond on the right with the fallen tree over it. April 2003

Site 160 Tree 203 on the left and Tree 202 on the right. September 2003

Site 160 Tree 350 in the Ancient Parish Boundary hedgerow. August 2004

Site 160 Trees 350, 351, 352 and 353 in the Ancient Parish Boundary hedgerow. August 2004

Site 160 Trees 352 and 353 in the Ancient Parish Boundary hedgerow. August 2004

Site 160 Brian and Janice ready to start tree measuring. October 2003

Site 160 Pond 14 South Hall Field Pond. April 2003

Site 160 Pond 14 in the corner. Broadnook Spinney starts at this point. April 2003

Site 160 Pond 14 South Hall Field Pond at SK588120. April 2003

Site 160 Pond 14 July 2004

Site 160 Pond 14 April 2005

Pond 14 from Site 217 Near Wanlip Close. April 2005

Site 160 Pond 14 dried up after a hot, dry summer. September 2003

Site 160 Pond 14 dried up after a hot, dry summer. September 2003

Site 160 The footbridge over the ditch from Site 160 into Blue Gate Lane. September 2003

Site 160 Recording the Ancient Parish Boundary along Blue Gate Lane hedgerow. August 2004

Site 160 Checking the ground for evidence of a windmill site by the stile into the Public Footpath leading to Hallfields Lane. January 2006

Site 160 Milestone? Boundary Stone? Foundation of a windmill? January 2006

ROTHLEY ANCIENT PARISH SURVEY (RAPS)

STINT 33

Date: 11th January 2006 and 18th January 2006

Observers: Brian Verity, Terry Sheppard, Marion Vincent

Location: Boundary accessed from old A6, along the public footpath (Blue Gate Lane), into Broadnook Spinney (Wanlip Parish) and under the fence into Wanlip Sic.

OS Ref: SK58941199-SK58921202

Map Title: Site 214 Wanlip Sic, along the 'drain' by Pond 14 (South Hall Field Pond) and along the public footpath by Site 160 South Hall Field.

This stint sees many variations from field hedgerow to centre of a drain and ending with a public footpath and double/treble hedgerow.

At the start of this stint in Site 214 Wanlip Sic there appears to be evidence of a shallow ditch with the stream/drain running a few yards back from the hedgerow. Again, this part of the hedgerow is very sparse with single stands of hawthorn, sycamore and dead elm.

Stint 33B changes direction and the boundary line is the centre of the drain which has water in parts but a dry inflow to Pond 14. Both sides of the drain have individual hawthorns just as in the last few stints. This part has a mixture of hawthorn, elder, sycamore and dead elm.

Stint 33C continues to run along the drain and changes direction into a straight run down the Public Footpath, under a concrete bridge which gives access to the continuation of the footpath through Site 160 South Hall Field. Where the boundary runs at the foot of the hedge along the footpath there is a good ditch/drain still alongside and a further hedgerow on the field edge. There is also a further hedgerow on the Wanlip side of the footpath giving three hedgerows in parallel. The boundary hedgerow again has spaced individual hawthorns and, on the further side of the ditch, a good-sized Ash Trees 353 with a girth of 2.55metres, which is detailed in the Natural History Survey under Site 160 South Hall Field. In addition there are other multi-trunked Ash Trees on both sides of the ditch.

It has been interesting to see how the spaced Hawthorns run along the Broadnook Spinney part of the Rothley Ancient Parish Boundary.

STINT 34

Date: 18th January 2006

Observers: Brian Verity, Terry Sheppard, Marion Vincent

Location: Site accessed from old A6 along the Public Footpath (Blue Gate Lane)

OS Ref: SK58921202-SK59091208

Map Title: Public Footpath alongside Site 160 South Hall Field, over old A6, along the edge of Site 185 Forty Close (Nursery Field) and up the bank to the edge of the Rothley/Mountsorrel By-pass

Stints 34A and B continue as in Stint 33D with a water-filled ditch/drain with hedgerow on both sides. There is also a hawthorn hedgerow on the Wanlip side of the footpath making it into a treble hedgerow. As before, there are individual hawthorns and Boundary Ash Trees 352-350 detailed in the Natural History Survey of Rothley under Site 160 South Hall Field. Again, the hawthorns are sparse and individual but with the chance to grow higher as there is more light than for those bordered by the Broadnook Spinney.

Stint 34C takes us down to the end of the footpath where it emerges onto the old A6. At this point there is a four trunked Willow and old parkland railings that we find in various parts of the Rothley Temple Estate land. The boundary drain/ditch is channelled under the road to emerge in Site 185 where a new boundary fence was erected after the building of the Rothley/Mountsorrel By-pass. There is still a good clump of hawthorn and individual hawthorns remaining along the ditch boundary. The drain is then further channelled under the by-pass, which would have been the start of the next stint just over 7 years ago.

STINT 50 (BACK TO BACK WITH STINT 34)

Date: 11th August 2004

Observers: Brian Verity, Janice Verity, Terry Sheppard, Marion Vincent

Location: South Hall Field

OS Ref: SK58921200-SK59021205

Map Title: Site 160

This is part of our survey that was good to record at this time of the year, as it was accessible without low herbage. It is recorded as Stint 50 but could be re-numbered when it joins up with other stints. (See note below).

The hedgerow in all of this stint has not been managed for years, it is very gappy, the species growing tall showing a large amount of lower bare trunks and they are all fighting for light. The boundary is in a drain or stream, which was running well with water after the very heavy, sometimes extreme, rains during the week. We surveyed from the field side where there is a hedgerow, the drain, another sparse hedgerow, a public footpath, another hedgerow and a field. The far drain hedgerow, footpath, further hedgerow and field are in the Parish of Wanlip. However, both side of the drain hedgerow contain the same species and look identical in time and structure.

Along this stint we recorded 4Ash Trees, Trees 350-353, as part of the Ancient Tree Survey, as they follow the pattern of Ash Boundary Trees as in our previous stints.

The girths did have to be assessed due to their inaccessibility on the sides of the drain. At the end of this stint there is a multi-trunked Willow of good size.

With three hedgerows and large trees the drain and footpath are heavily shaded but there was an understorey of Red Campion, Garlic Mustard, Herb Robert, Stinging Nettle, Ground Ivy, Herb Bennett and Ivy.

The Field Pond, Pond 14, was very full of water and there was an amazing number of dragonflies hawking the field around us

18th January 2006

As mentioned above, this stint could be re-numbered when we arrived at this point in our survey. As the photographs taken by Brian are all showing Stint 50 we are leaving this as previously numbered but linking it with Stint 34. Hence the title of Stint 50 Back to Back with Stint 34.

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