Low HillWild West Yorkshire nature diary, Thursday 29th April 1999
WALKING INTO WAKEFIELD, across Low Hill, Thornes Park, we measure the width of one of the Medieval strips, produced by ploughing. It is seven and a half yards, which would be a rod (also known as a perch or pole) and a half in old measure. The strips are perhaps two hundred yards or more long, here two sets meet, one set runs up the hill, the other along the narrow ridge at the top of the hill. The elongated reverse s-shape of each strip is the result of turning an ox-drawn plough.
The urban Blackbirds singing from chimney pots and roof tops have tremendous projection; their pure fluty tones resonate in a quiet cul-de-sac.
In the evening sun the old market square in the centre of Pontefract has the look of an old French town. Instead of garcons on noisy velos, here there are lads running speed trials on skateboards. Things have changed since I was a lad, one of a group of youths concerned about an injured pigeon on the pavement outside W H Smiths is making a call on his mobile phone. A Starling tackles the remains of a takeaway while Pied Wagtails flit around the roof of the Art Nouveau museum, where my exhibition has just opened. It includes a computer displaying this web site.