The subject of land drains is probably not the most inspiring topic to base a news article on but at least we appear to have been, at least partially successful in re-claiming some farmland lost to water-logging over the last 15 years or so.
Gradually over the years a dip in a 50 acre field adjacent to the A1 has become more or less impossible to get through, even with the most powerful 4 x 4 tractors, thus wasting probably about 2-3 acres of valuable arable land that we are still paying rent on but obviously getting no return. Recently we decided to investigate and found several areas where the old land drains had become blocked and damaged , stopping any rain water escaping into the large culvert by the side of the A1. We replaced over 200 metres of pipe with modern plastic 10cm drainage piping and left the end flowing into the culvert, just above where the original pipes went in.
The results have been spectacular, there is now a constant and fairly strong flow of water (see video below) off the field and as a result the soil is already becoming much drier and soon, it should be able to bear the weight of farm machinery and be brought back into food production. The interesting, and slightly perplexing issue is that the water coming off the land is absolutely gin clear, normally you would expect a bit of colouring from the soil. Samples have been sent away for testing to establish whether or not it is actually mains water from a local burst that has happened deep underground and gone un-reported. Watch this space….