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Soil, Cultivation, Minerals, &c.—The soil in the carse has been rendered more productive, by draining the swamps, by laying a greater quantity of lime annually on the land than used formerly to be done, and by streighting the ridges in several places. The soil in the higher grounds is in general loam upon a till bottom, and in many places a stiff till, without any mixture of loam, especially where the land is spouty. A great part of the upland, so lately as 20 years ago, was covered with furze and broom, which have been grubbed out by the farmers, fince the knowledge of improvement, and the desire of industry have been introduced into this country; and their labour has been amply rewarded by abundant crops. The land, where furze used to grow, is now a strong generous soil ; and its strength may in every case be estimated by the fize and luxuriance of the whins, in its natural state. The soil which carries broom, in its uncultivated state, is not so strong as the former ; but it is a trusty soil, and will make good returns of the ordinary crops, when tenderly dealt with, and allowed occasionally to rest in grass. Where whins and broom are mixed, the soil is strong or light, in the degree in which either of these prevails; and to encourage the husbandman still farther, such land seldom requires draining, where these plants are found. Blocks of granite have been blown in different places off the higher grounds, and removed at confiderable expence; and land which was lately in a state of nature, lets now at a guinea an acre in pasture. Where the soil was spouty, at the skirts of the hills, covered drains have been made ; but in the clay land the drains are all open.
Climate, Diseases, and Longevity.—In the carse, intermittent fevers were very frequent some time ago, occasioned, principally, by the dampness of the country; but fince the ground has been drained, and the inhabitants are more comfortably lodged and fed, all distempers, arising from a relaxed habit, are neither so common nor severe.—There is nothing extraordinary in the stature or longevity of the people. About the beginning of 1794, there died in the carse a person aged 93. Several persons, now alive, enjoy good health at the age of 80. The people in general are healthy and hardy, inured, from their infancy, to the laborious exercises of agriculture, which, by their improved stile of living, they are not only enabled to undergo with success, but with comfort and ease.
Farm Houses.—The farm houses have lately undergone great improvements, owing to the general spirit of industry, and the desire of convenience, which has been spreading for some years through this part of the kingdom, in every department of rural economy". The dwellings are well lighted, and consist of 3 or more apartments; and the farmers have generally a clock in every family, and other furniture in proportion, comfortable and convenient.—They have kilns for drying grain, with brick floors, and some with cast iron floors.
Cattle.—In the carse farms, few black cattle are kept, but they pay great attention to the rearing of horses. In the inore
more elevated parts of the parish, the farmers rear more cows, and pay confiderable attention to the dairy, which to them is a great source of profit. Their soil is well adapted for pasture, whereas the clay soil is more productive in bearing crops of grain. There is no mountainous ground in the parish, and therefore there are no sheep farms; some large inclosures, which are let to graziers, are stocked with sheep : And from the richness of their grass, and their vicinity to the market, they make good returns.
Moso.-It is evident, from a variety of circumstances, that the flat land in this neighbourhood was formerly covered with a stratum of moss. This moss was composed of the deciduous parts of trees, which sprung up from the rich bed of clay that was exposed, when the sea retired from that extensive valley, in which the Forth flows from the head of Monteath to Borrowstounness. Marine shells are found in the body of this clay. The roots of large trees are found adhering to its surface, and their trunks and branches are mingled with the moss above ; which is a sufficient proof that there was no moss when the trees were growing". o Wood, and Orchards.—There is a great variety of planted trees on the higher grounds, which thrive well, shelter the country,
* By what cause those trees, which in this valley are mostly oak, were felled, is not, perhaps, so evident ; but by whatever cause this took place, when the trees fell, the whole plain must have been an immense and wild morass, when the water from the higher grounds was interrupted in its progress, and rendered stagnant by leaves, and branches, and large logs of wood. The richness of the soil below would soon produce a rank growth of the long grasses, and other plants peculiar to marshy ground. When the surface was somewhat consolidated by the annual decay of these plants, it would become a vast quag-mire, acquiring a gradual confistency, enabling it to carry heath on the top. From being flow moss it would become firmer, especially at the sides, where there was least water, and where the moss was less deep, by reason of the higher ground dipping in