Page images

wish to make an improvement ot this kind,


to take off a small water-course so far up the river, as to be able to raise it to a height e,qual with the top of the bank that is raised for fencing his fields. And, if this can be done, it would be the easiest thing imaginable to form a small hollow on the top of the bank when first made, as at A, (Fig. 18th,) to serve as a bed for this small stream of water to run in when it should be found necessary. And, by having a sluice upon the upper part of this canal, to open or shut at pleasure, the water might be admitted into it when, and only when the possessor of it should incline. And, if there was a particular fluice that opened from this canal into each of the fields, it would be in his power to throw it upon any one of these at any time; that he saw proper, and raise it as high in it as the top of the bank, if he chose it.

I decline enumerating any more of the advantages that would attend this practice, as

these these must appear obvious at first sight. It is only necessary for me her: to take notice, that, if the banks which form the boundaries of these inclosures are not made very thick and strong, as was already advised, they would be altogether insufficient for bearing the pressure of such a body of water as is supposed to be sometimes contained in some of these, while the other fields around them are empty. On which account they ought, in general, to be § XXXIII.

made of a triangular form, (as iri Fig. 19th.)

Those who may not have the convenience of being able to bring the water, as here described, may frequently have it in their power tb lay these fields Under water when, or to what depth they may incline, by diverting from its right course, any rill that may fall from higher ground near them, and introducing it into the field, when swelled with rain.


[ocr errors]

Of Fencing and Securing flat Meadow-grounds from the Danger of being droivned^ or of floating them at pleasure.

Besides the level grounds on the banks of rivers just now described as apt to be hurt by extraneous water, there are many large tracts of ground of another kind to be met with, that are in as great danger of receiving damage from this cause as the former. These consist of low level grounds lying in a bottom surrounded with higher ground, from which the descent is so inconsiderable as not to allow the water to flow away from them so fast as it comes upon them during the continuance of violent rains; which subjects them to the disagreeable inconvenience of being frequently overflowed at improper seasons, so as to prevent the farmer from having it in his power to improve them as he might incline ; which grounds are commonly known in the north of Britain by the: name of Meadows or Laighs. As it is of consequence for common farmers to know the way of fencing these* I shall add a few words with regard to them; although others of a more comprehensive understanding may, perhaps, think it unnecessary, after what has been already said.

As the inconvenience complained of in this case arises entirely from water that falls from higher ground, the first step that is necessary to be taken, is, to defend the fields from that, by fencing them all round the fides by a ditch and bank like those already described, of a sufficient size and strength to contain and carry off the whole water that may fall into it at any time. This ought to be continued all round, and to fall into the

main main drain by which the water is ultimately conveyed from this level bottom.

If the descent from this be very small, so as not to allow of a swift current of water, make the ditch of a considerable width, and clean it frequently from the mud and weeds that will, in a short time, be in danger of ehoaking it up entirely. This ditch, or water-course, being made in the lowest part of the ground, roust be secured on each side with a bank, like those already described upon the side of the river j- and through that let there be made a small conduit, passing from the lowest part of each field, (as at LL, Fig. 17th,) into the drain. But, as the current of water is here supposed to be very small, each of these must be closed with a; water-sluice to be opened or shut at pleasure by the hand, and not by folding fluices, which could in this cass e be of no use.

The meadow may be divided into as many inclosures as shall be thought necessary,'


« PreviousContinue »