Sunday, 17 August 2014

Wednesday 13th August 2014 

With the threat of yet another proposed housing development hanging over the parish, we set out today with the urgent task of surveying and recording the boundaries around the Kirk Lane area between Embsay and Eastby. 

View northwards along Kirk Lane from Embsay Church   (c) Jane Lunnon
This greenfield site is not only a wildlife haven with its long stretches of hedgerows, and an essential component in the rural character of the parish, it also contains local heritage which will be obliterated by the proposed estate of new houses.

View eastwards along Kirk Lane in Eastby   (c) Jane Lunnon

 It was therefore our intention to record for posterity any feature of historic interest around the threatened site. 

Jennifer penetrates the jungle in her search for archaeology    (c) Jane Lunnon

This isn't a good time of year of surveying - our view of many features was obscured by lush summer vegetation - even a road sign warning of the notorious sharp and dangerous bend at Kirk Lane corner was completely hidden from view - no wonder local residents so often hear the squeal of brakes here!
Oh look! There's a road sign in here!   (c) Jane Lunnon

We had to take extreme care, often jumping quickly into the undergrowth to avoid being run down by traffic - few drivers seem to take any notice of the speed limit here. 

The old footpath from Eastby to Embsay  (c) Jane Lunnon 
It was a relief to finally reach the footpath which cuts across the fields, taking walkers through ancient field boundaries, with pleasant views down what remains of the old strip fields. This footpath is enjoyed by a large number of local residents, not only for its pleasant surroundings, but also as the only safe pedestrian route between the two villages.  

We enjoyed a good hearty lunch at the Elm Tree Inn in Embsay - always such generous portions there! - and resumed the survey in the afternoon. 

We feel it was a very worthwhile exercise - making us appreciate even more than before how precious our local heritage is. 

Jane Lunnon