Recording Parch Marks

This year has apparently offered the best examples of agricultural parch marks for a decade or so. These are areas of differential browning of crops/grass which show up sub-soil features. Of interest are those which reveal historic man-made features such as building foundations and industrial relics. Where the soil is deeper (ancient excavations) the grass has access to more water and the turf is greener and where the soil is thin, perhaps due to foundations just under the surface, roots have access to less water so the crop browns.  The effect is, of course, ruined by rain, irrigation or ploughing.  Features under woodland or rough ground don't show up at all but those under crops can stand out very vividly.  

A short notice request came in from the Dept of History at St Andrews University to provide photographs of specific areas of interest in NE Fife plus anything else that stood out in between.  Whilst many of the features are probably natural, some were of very obvious human influence.  The full significance of these is still being evaluated and there will likely be more sorties to investigate further before the present dry spell comes to an end. 

 

The above image shows the wheel-like excavated foundations of a windmill type of pump house whist the square below it is a former coal pit head.  Also visible are modern drainage ditches.

 This image is believed to be the dug out foundation of an ancient round house or enclosure.



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