Saturday, 26 March 2011

Daffodils on Rack Isle

Rack Isle is the area of boggy ground which lies in the middle of the village, immediately in front of Arlington Row.  In the Middle Ages as part of the fulling process they hung the wool on racks on the isle, hence the name 'Rack Isle'.  It is actually an isle too as it is completely surrounded by water. 

The racks have long since gone and the isle is now owned and managed by the National Trust, who endeavour to maintain it as a protected wildlife area.  Looking at old photos of the isle it appears to have been treated like any other field and stocked quite heavily as the grass is grazed into well trimmed neatness.  And I'm told that there used to a fun fair held there as recently as the 1960s. 

I had a chat with the NT warden the other day who said that he disapproved of the daffodils that have sprung up on the edge of the isle.  They have no doubt been planted over the years by people living in Arlington Row.  The warden viewed them as a suburban intrusion into a wild landscape.  I thought this a little excessive as we are after all in the middle of a village and not an uninhabited wilderness.  Each to his own, but I think the daffs look rather jolly.


  1. God, some conservationists are twats.

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  3. Hi Richard,

    The NT do a great job at protecting the heritage of this country, so I don't want to knock them too much, but sometimes a little power seems to go to their heads.

    Contacting them is a work of art, they never return calls or email and appear to have as many, if not more, layers of management, than the civil service!!!

    They have announced great plans for an overhaul of the way they manage their properties and land, putting it all out to the regions to control their own income and by putting a strong emphasis on a family day out, but I can see their intransigence and aversion to change, getting in the way of any real reform.