Vale of Mowbray, Haymaking
Coast to Coast path through the Vale of Mowbray
The Vale of Mowbray is a low-lying flat plain of farmland between Richmond and the North Yorkshire Moors. Haymaking, despite being a common farming activity in high summer, is always interesting to observe, particularly to walkers of the Coast to Coast path that stretches across the Vale of Mowbray, from Richmond to Ingleby Arncliffe.
Modern mechanized hay production today is usually performed by a number of machines. While small operations use a tractor to pull various implements for mowing and raking, larger operations use specialized machines such as a mower or a swather, which are designed to cut the hay and arrange it into a windrow in one step. Balers are usually pulled by a tractor, with larger balers requiring more powerful tractors.
Mobile balers, machines which gather and bale hay in one process, were first developed around 1940. The first balers produced rectangular bales small enough for a person to lift, usually between 70 and 100 pounds (32 and 45 kg) each. The size and shape made it possible for people to pick bales up, stack them on a vehicle for transport to a storage area, then build a haystack by hand. However, to save labor and increase safety, loaders and stackers were also developed to mechanise the transport of small bales from the field to the haystack. Later in the 20th century, balers were developed capable of producing large bales that weigh up to 3,000 pounds (1,400 kg).
Conditioning of hay has become popular. The basic idea is that it decreases drying time, particularly in humid climates or if rain interferes with haying. Usually, a salt solution is sprayed over the top of the hay (generally alfalfa) that helps to dry the hay. Conditioning can also refer to the rollers inside a swather that crimps the alfalfa to help squeeze out the moisture.
Haymaking in the Vale of Mowbray
The Vale of Mowbray is a large low lying plain sandwiched between the Yorkshire Dales and the North York Moors. Haymaking in this farming area in interesting to watch, particularly as farmers always choose a warm sunny day to collect and make their hay.
Coast to Coast eBook
The Wild Beauty of the Coast to Coast Path
The Wild Beauty of the Coast to Coast Path is designed both as a trail guide, and as an informative and adventurous travelogue. Written by Roy David McKee, this is a must-read for anyone contemplating the walk.
The book is available from the iBooks store and has been digitally enhanced.
Features of the Book:
- Route described in detail
- Large scale detailed digital Maps of the route
- Hundreds of colour photographs that can be expanded to full page
- Photo-galleries of particular areas of interest.
- Research notes of Historic and Interesting places on the path.