Figure 1 Estate map c.1781 by Thomas Lewis for the Lisburne estate, (NLW Crosswood Deeds Volume 2 [formerly Series IV No.6]).

Figure 1 Estate map c.1781 by Thomas Lewis for the Lisburne estate, (NLW Crosswood Deeds Volume 2 [formerly Series IV No.6]).

Who is this workshop for?: No prior skills needed! Land users, smallholders, farmers, gardeners, rural types and those that love the countryside and are concerned about Brexit, and anyone who loves old maps, place names, history and colouring in.

Why is agriculture important: Rural landscapes are key to our notions of ‘Britishness’, an important part of our shared culture and heritage.  All is not rosy however and we must consider how climate change, Brexit and food security will change how agriculture is practised in the UK. How do we want our future farmlands to be used and what do we want them to look like?

Why history?: History has the power to teach us about the future and research has shown that modern agricultural subsidies are actually encouraging farmers to return to practices that, as it turns out, were actually common in Medieval Britain – they were self-sufficient, resilient, sustainable and mixed.

What we will do: This workshop uses historic maps of a medieval upland farm in the Cambrian Mountain area of West Wales that will give you the cartographic and place name skills to find clues about past land use – husbandry, cropping, common land, woodland management and grazing regimes.  

Discover: We will discover if these ancient practices can be used to get us towards the land use scenarios described by the Zero Carbon Britain project which advocate eating less meat, planting more trees and growing biomass.

We will consider the contribution of the past to our sustainable future.

Finally - We will do some colouring- in and looking at old maps