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"End to End via the Margins"
-the diary of a walk.

- Fairford to Stow on the Wold


It was good to bash on northwards up the gentle dip slope of the Cotswolds, the first day going directly north. The larks were singing, the sun was shining, hazy and hot. The roads were quiet and straight, my sack was in the car, and I had new boots on my feet, surprisingly comfortable out of the box.

Apart from the odd pocket of sheep, cattle or pigs, it is mostly arable here. From time to time, there was the thick smell of oilseed rape, now in full flower, but mostly it was grain. The farmers all seem to work to the same diary, and there was fertiliser going on wherever I looked. It struck me there was a lot of science in making sure the granules got flung the right distance.

I chatted to a tractor driver. He commented on the relative merits of different makes. Farming for many is big business now, and the relations between labour and management seem to have the same complexity as they do in other settings. Both have a common cause - they both need the business to prosper. Yet there is also a degree of suspicion. Yes the driver knew wheat was down to 50-odd per ton now, but he also read the papers and knew about subsidies. The "struggling farmer" act cannot always be used to peg back wages. Life was good here and the education was good for children.

The area was still desirable. There were new homes near RAF Rissington, part of which was now being pushed as a business park.

As I rounded Icomb Hill, I saw a Thames Turbo glint in the distant haze, between Adlestrop and Kingham. There is no station at Adlestrop: lack of customers I guess.

Pictures from today...
Placidity: the Coln at Fairford. There is no evidence it ever gets higher. Is it well controlled, or spring-fed?
Trees growing on a burial mound - out of death comes life
Pray for farmers, as they struggle with a hostile market, and all whose destiny is bound up with the land;- farmworkers, families, shopkeeper, the thousands -more than that - in the tourist industry and many others.

Pray for just and sustainable industrial relatons.

© Bob Warwicker. The words here may be reproduced freely, but not for gain, or without attribution. All alterations must have the permission of the author.