It's just Notton

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Monday 14th February 2000

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Notton Woods NOTTON PARK has an oval boundary on the Victorian map. This shape suggests an ancient wood rather than a later plantation. Most plantations have geometrical shapes since they were planted in a countryside already divided into holdings. The circular shape of some woods suggests that they were enclosed from a largely uncultivated landscape. A circular boundary is more economical to construct as it encloses the maximum area for the least expenditure in time and materials.

soil profile, Notton Woods Since the Victorian period, a quarter of the wood, in the shape of an enormous pie wedge, has been cut out and is now farmed as arable.

On a previous visit I dug a shallow soil profile to examine the structure of woodland soil in an area of planted Beeches. A layer of leaf mould covered an inch and a half of black soil. Beneath that, sandy subsoil, the product of weathering of the underlying rock, went down a further five inches. The deeper I dug the more fragments of rock I found.

clay pipe, Nottonmaker's stamp Keeper Lane, between the north east corner of Notton Park and the village, passes the site of a brick kiln. A few years ago I found this fragment of a clay pipe thrown up in excavations by the roadside.

Richard Bell
Richard Bell,
wildlife illustrator

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