SITE 185 FORTY CLOSE (NURSERY FIELD)

OS REF:SK59001205-SK59001240

Date: 26th April 2003

This was a visit to look at the Parish Boundary and the field, which is undergoing change.

The field is tenanted by Oscar Copperfield Nurseries who have erected a large polytunnel and created areas for their rare and unusual plants. It is not yet open to the public as they are still setting up their new area. Brian was looking into holes for evidence of flints or pottery but little of interest was showing. The other tenant of this piece of land is Chris Tivey, a dahlia specialist, who has transferred from Syston after the retirement of his father, Philip Tivey, a Gold Medallist at Chelsea. All the plants have to be rabbit fenced.

This piece of land borders the A6 Bypass so is part of a split field with modern hawthorn hedgerows on the bypass boundary, a mixture of overgrown shrubs and trees on the old A6 boundary and a ditch on the Parish Boundary. This ditch is fed by a brick tunnel under the old A6 and continues under the new A6.

This pastureland has now taken on 'modern' farming of plants, shrubs and colourful flowers but, as Fred said, you cannot do much with so many rabbits about.

18TH January 2006

Brian, Terry Sheppard and Marion visited this site to photograph and detail this small piece of boundary as part of RAPS (Rothley Ancient Parish Survey). It has a modern fence following construction of the Mountsorrel/Rothley By-pass but the ditch/drain sill remains with individual hawthorns, which were once the old boundary.

Site 185 Forty Close looking to Site 187 Soar Meadow Hay Flat and the bridge over the River Soar/canal by Cossington Mill. March 2006

ROTHLEY ANCIENT PARISH SURVEY (RAPS)

STINT 35

Date: 1st February 2006

Observers: Brian Verity, Terry Sheppard, Marion Vincent

Location: Site accessed from Cossington Lane over Site 187 Soar Meadow Hay Flat

OS Ref: SK59091208-SK59221209

Map Title: Site 185 Forty Close

Owners: Mr Fred Barber, Woodcock Farm, Loughborough Road, Rothley, Leicester. 07977 014606

This site extends from the old A6 but has been divided by the By-pass. The first part of this stint has suffered upheaval not just from the building of the by-pass but from the laying of pipes along the field boundary by the side of the by-pass. This latter work also took out about 20 metres of the Parish Boundary at the start of Stint 35A. Fencing has been erected in its place.

Part way along Stint 35A is an Ash Tree that must have fallen in its youth and the branches have grown up from the fallen trunk making an interesting feature. Due to the above works there is nothing else to record as part of the hedgerow. The ditch along the whole of this stint is water-filled.

Starting in Stint 35B we have individual hawthorns that have not been laid but have strong, old trunks. This type of boundary is a continuation of what was found in the stints running alongside Broadnook Spinney and, before construction of the old and new A6, could have been planted at the same time.

In Stints 35C and 35D we see the hawthorns have been laid with remnants of old layering and trunks and the start of small blackthorns in a double row on the Rothley side of the boundary.

There is an understorey of Red Campion and other plants.

STINT 36

Date: 1st February 2006

Observers: Brian Verity, Terry Sheppard, Marion Vincent

Location: Site accessed from Cossington Lane over Site 187 Soar Meadow Hay Flat

OS Ref: SK59221209-SK59311219

Map Title: Site 185 Forty Close

Owners: Mr Fred Barber, Woodcock Farm, Loughborough Road, Rothley, Leicester. 07977 014606

This part of the stint starts with a very interesting major 'kink' in the line of the ditch and a change from the boundary being on the Rothley side of the ditch to the Wanlip side of the ditch. At this point there are a lot of Elders on the Rothley side of the ditch, which then continue on the Wanlip side. There is also a good amount of Blackthorn at this point. There is also more evidence of a parallel hedgerow and the start of individual trees as we have a young Oak in Stint 36D and more boundary trees as we progress into the next stint. It seems to be a more interesting type of boundary from where we get this 'kink'.

Along the hedgerow there is good evidence of Red Campion.

STINT 37

Date: 15th March 2006

Observers: Brian Verity, Terry Sheppard, Marion Vincent

Location: Site accessed from Cossington Lane over Site 187 Soar Meadow Hay Flat

OS Ref: SK59311219-SK59391225

Map Title: Site 185 Forty Close

Owners: Mr Fred Barber, Woodcock Farm, Loughborough Road, Rothley, Leicester. 07977 014606

The first thing of note is that I heard a Skylark singing overhead and most welcome it was on the first sunny spring day for ages.

In this section the ditch is running well and with the steep banks there is more vegetation with moss, Red Campion, Herb Robert, Lesser Celandine, Wild Arum and Stinging Nettle.

Once again, there are Elders on both sides of the ditch but the Wanlip side of the boundary appears to have more species. In the some parts of the stint we now find good stands of Hazel, Blackthorn, Hawthorn and a few young Oaks. At the end of 37A there is an Ancient stump, possibly Ash, but the trunk is lying abandoned and in pieces. There is another Ancient stump at the end of 37C and that looks like Ash. Towards the end of the stint we begin to see young Elms looking rather dead.

The last section is very sparse on both sides of the ditch and very overgrown with blackberrybrambles.

STINT 38

Date: 15th March 2006

Observers: Brian Verity, Terry Sheppard, Marion Vincent

Location: Site accessed from Cossington Lane over Site 187 Soar Meadow Hay Flat

OS Ref: SK59391225-SK59451234

Map Title: Site 185 Forty Close and Site 187 Soar Meadow Hay Flat.

Owners: Mr Fred Barber, Woodcock Farm, Loughborough Road, Rothley, Leicester. 07977 014606

This part of the boundary continues as in Stint 37 with Elder once again being a feature but more sparse on both sides of the ditch. There are more dead young Elms in this stint and more brambles. At the end of Stint 38C there is a large stand of Blackthorn, which extends into 38D. There is also Ancient Hawthorn that has been laid but only a few individual specimens.

A Public Footpath cuts across the boundary in Stint 38D at which point the boundary vegetation ceases and the ditch runs out into a small copse of Willow, which is in a bad state, in the Parish of Wanlip. On the Rothley side of the boundary we are in Site 187 Soar Meadow Hay Flat, which used to be made up of Soar Meadow/Easte Meadow and Soar Meadow Hay Flat.

We used the fence line as the boundary, no other option.

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