Agri Vehicles Insurance from Greenlands

Author Topic: Field Drains  (Read 15180 times)

dt400

  • Joined Apr 2012
Field Drains
« on: January 31, 2013, 02:02:42 pm »
Hi All   Can anyone give me any info on Victorian field drains?   The lower part on our field floods, I have been told that it never used to and it has old field drains which I had never seen till the other day when I noticed water running into a hole which sounded like a pot drain they seem to be about 20" down although I not able to tell as there is so much water. My question is how are they constructed , should there be anything to stop soil going down and blocking the drain, I have two running at the moment but the must be more, I guess it's a case of following the pipe back.   Thanks Clive

RonMinch

  • Joined Sep 2011
Re: Field Drains
« Reply #1 on: February 22, 2013, 03:14:13 pm »
Hi, I have the same problem with our drains. We have a mix of old drains which seem to be constructed from large pieces of stone laid in a trench about 20" deep, they are loosely arrange in an inverted 'U' shape, sides and a top. The ones I have dug up so far are pretty much full of soil but seem to drain slowly. There are also some clay pipe drains which join up to the older drains. Our fields flood during heavy rain but drain within 24hrs. I do have plans to excavate at points where sink holes have opened up but dont fancy hand digging in heavy clay.

northern crofter

  • Joined Dec 2012
  • Black isle
Re: Field Drains
« Reply #2 on: March 02, 2013, 08:09:24 am »
Sorry to hijack your thread but i thought it may be the best place to ask if anyone has any ideas on finding existing field drains when you don't have a layout map to work from?
There are a couple of pretty wet areas in my field that need to be addressed but i would like to know if there is an existing drain which could be repaired before i go to the expense and work of laying a new one.

lachlanandmarcus

  • Joined Aug 2010
  • Aberdeenshire
Re: Field Drains
« Reply #3 on: March 02, 2013, 09:24:54 am »
Northerncrofter my first point of call would be google maps. they were done in a hot summer and on our aerial map you can see quite a lot of field drain patterns which I had no idea were there. Failing that, find the people who used to own your place if you can, or the neighbours, as they generally know. or the local water engineer can prob tell you (or might have helped his dad put them in!)
We are lucky as the local water engineer here was born in the now ruined cottage on our land, (which we now have PP to restore so he is chuffed about that too!)

suziequeue

  • Joined Feb 2010
  • Llanidloes; Powys
Re: Field Drains
« Reply #4 on: March 02, 2013, 09:25:03 am »
I'm in the same boat northern crofter - so I will be interested to see what responses you get
We do the best we can with the information we have

When we know better we do better

sandalfarm

  • Joined Jan 2013
Re: Field Drains
« Reply #5 on: March 03, 2013, 05:27:11 pm »
i found our drains when one became blocked and a boggy or more boggy area appeared, to find the exact position i used ametal spike and pushed it into the ground at various positions until it made a hollow clonk, not like hitting a stone, the drains were in exact straight lines so easy to follow, some were full of mud and easy to clean out with drain rods but some had collapsed and hard work to dig out and re build

Julestools

  • Joined Mar 2013
  • In my shed
Re: Field Drains
« Reply #6 on: March 08, 2013, 09:44:59 pm »
The black art of.... water divining. Yes it works

The old way was with a forked hazel twig but welding wire works just as well. An old work mate of mine, George Slobom, was a grand master with a set of wires. He taught me and i have subequently taught (and suprised) others, The first time the wires move you tend to drop them in fright. It tends to work better on running drains but once you have the pattern worked out the rest is easy

Good luck

Jules

Hassle

  • Joined Aug 2012
  • Lincolnshire
Re: Field Drains
« Reply #7 on: March 08, 2013, 10:11:47 pm »
water divining ... so chance..

If you want to actually guarantee finding underground drains you want a hire company like this
Ground Penetrating Radar

Julestools

  • Joined Mar 2013
  • In my shed
Re: Field Drains
« Reply #8 on: March 08, 2013, 10:21:27 pm »
Oh ye of little faith. Try it..... it works  :P

I'm no hairy hippy or god botherin' organic dreamer, i'm a fully qualified engineer.... It works.... Like magic

Jules
« Last Edit: March 08, 2013, 10:26:38 pm by Julestools »

Oly

  • Joined Feb 2013
  • South Cheshire
Re: Field Drains
« Reply #9 on: March 08, 2013, 11:37:24 pm »
Oh ye of little faith. Try it..... it works  :P

I'm no hairy hippy or god botherin' organic dreamer, i'm a fully qualified engineer.... It works.... Like magic

Jules

Same here...it does work. Not sure how, but some people can do it reliably every time

Hassle

  • Joined Aug 2012
  • Lincolnshire
Re: Field Drains
« Reply #10 on: March 09, 2013, 11:04:09 am »
I'm willing to be proved wrong but IIRC a study was done that showed there is no scientific proof  :huff:

I do believe in sixth sense, but in the form that the brain is taking all the information eyesight hearing touch taste smell and because everyone's brain is such a clever complex object it 'sees' an error in that information packet which it throws up and you get that 'feeling' that something is wrong.  This might explain how you are able to do your water 'magic' but holding a twig though sorry come on!  :raining:

Julestools

  • Joined Mar 2013
  • In my shed
Re: Field Drains
« Reply #11 on: March 09, 2013, 11:10:57 pm »
Example

Last year a local JP and church steward, David L, was looking to build a shed and needed to mark out the drains on the site. I went round with a couple of old wire coat hangers and walked the site with the wires in hand and canes in my bag and placed a cane every where the wires twitched. When David came home i had a good idea where the main drain lay but said nothing. I gave him the wires and asked him to walk across the site. The wires crossed and he dropped them in shock at the severity of the deflection. Only i knew that he had crossed the drain!
Sure enough when the builders started work the drain (an old piped ditch) was there where i marked it..... Yes it's magic

lachlanandmarcus

  • Joined Aug 2010
  • Aberdeenshire
Re: Field Drains
« Reply #12 on: March 10, 2013, 07:31:01 am »
The water engineer in our area (40 years experience, well qualified, THE water man in our parts) also does divining. And he's no fluffy hippy type!
Round here it is completely standard and accepted.
 

Penninehillbilly

  • Joined Sep 2011
  • West Yorks
Re: Field Drains
« Reply #13 on: March 10, 2013, 03:59:13 pm »
We bought some land adjoining ours a few years ago, some very boggy areas, I would stamp footprints about and watch which direction the water filled them from, worked back to the source. An area which has been boggy for at least 20 years (welly-deep and lost my welly more than once, lucky I didn't stand in the bit where a spade went down to the handle!), is now terra firma, dug it by hand. Even found a small stone trough!
Trouble is, we find it addictive, we have enough to do without digging into more muddy patches and working back up the line to find problems, but we just HAVE to keep going back an doing a little bit more.
Normally flat stones across top of rough stone channels, but our last session unearthed very small clay pipes. Sadly these old drains were not built to cope with todays heavy tractors and machinery, which I think is cause of most of our problems.

LKSF

  • Joined Oct 2020
Re: Field Drains
« Reply #14 on: March 07, 2022, 12:35:33 pm »
I've been working with our old drains just recently, if anyone is interested i'll post up some more with pics.
Like PHB says really I should be doing more important things, but there is a certain strange kind of enjoyment to be had from them!
Ours were constructed by placing flat stones in a line in the bottom of a dug ditch like a footpath. A drystone wall was then built to form the sides, flat capping stones put on top, then trench was back filled with stones, rubbish and soil.
Failures come in many modes.

 

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