Sheep-folding today

Sheep folding at Sibbertoft, Northamptonshire, on the Naseby battlefield trail Old ways are sometimes the best, and although this rural scene includes electric fences, the underlying concept of penning sheep on small areas of open fallow fields is a continuation of an early medieval practice. Sheep eat down the stubble while manuring to provide weed …

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Pollen coring at Sydlings Copse, Oxfordshire

In December 2018 members of the FeedSax team visited Sydlings Copse, a small woodland in Oxfordshire, to obtain cores for pollen analysis. Today, the copse is surrounded by agricultural land, but the woodland was formerly part of Shotover royal hunting forest, mentioned in Domesday Book. It also provides one of very few pollen records with …

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The skeletons of Stafford: a visit to the Potteries Museum, Stoke-on-Trent

Stafford has been chosen as a pilot case study for the FeedSax project. Excavations from within the town have produced good quantities of pollen and archaeobotanical remains as well as a small assemblage of animal bone. The town is also blessed with a rich historical record, which therefore provides an ideal context in which to …

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Open fields past, present and future: a trip to Laxton, Nottinghamshire

England’s 'last open field village’, Laxton in Nottinghamshire, is a landscape shaped by the historic communal farming system and its ongoing modernisation in the 21st century. For FeedSax, and especially the archaeobotanical dimension of the project, Laxton offers the opportunity to study the species composition and ecology of vegetation communities adapted to the existing version …

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