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Burning Dartmoor

cmsue

By cmsue

11 comments


Swaling – sounds like some sort of manic folk dance, but it is a practice that has been carried out for centuries. Swaling is the annual burning of the gorse and scrub in order to thin out the old vegetation in order to allow new grass shoots to grow thus providing grazing for the livestock. The first recorded instance of the word ‘swaling’ comes from a poem written in around 1205AD by Layamon called Brut, it is suggested that the actual word comes from the Anglo Saxon word – Sw├Žlan meaning to burn.

As you can see the men doing there work, there were about 12 of them

They do this all over the moors a bit at a time.

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Comments

 

Interesting ... quick way to get rid I suppose

6 Mar, 2012

 

Very interesting.

6 Mar, 2012

 

They do this here, too, on the grouse moors to let young heather shoots grow to feed the grouse population - then guess what.......?

6 Mar, 2012

 

Then they shoot them , poor little things :(

6 Mar, 2012

 

Scary work though - looks as if it could easily get out of control doesn't it?

6 Mar, 2012

 

This happens on the mountainsides here too. Looks so scary until you understand what's happening!

7 Mar, 2012

 

i have seen this before sue and wondered what it was for, hope the wildlife dont get harmed.

7 Mar, 2012

 

Yes sanbaz that was my first thought,s but they have to do it i surpose.:)

7 Mar, 2012

 

It's amazing how quick it all grows back too.

8 Mar, 2012

 

If we see smoke on the hillside, it's a sure sign of real danger. This looks spectacular and dangerous, but I'm sure they know exactly what they are doing. LOVE the etymological bit - very interesting. I just hope, like you, Sanbaz, that the wildlife can shift themselves out of danger. Those that can run will, and those that can burrow won't have to go too deep to escape the superficial heat, I think. I hope.

16 Mar, 2012

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