Water meadow

An area of grassland next to a river which is artificially flooded at certain times of the year, by means of a network of ridges and channels, to produce early, good quality pasture. They were in general use from the 17th century onwards (although their use declined dramatically in the 19th century) to run water across valley bottoms or gentle hillsides, early in the year to produce early, good quality pasture and later in the summer to produce a hay crop.

View of the early 19th century water meadows at Castle Acre

View of the early 19th century water meadows at Castle Acre. (© NCC)

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