Mixed Farming – collaboration with Coed Cadw / the Woodland Trust in Wales

As a project, Mixed Farming had its origins in the observation that growing crops as well as raising livestock was much more common in mid-Wales in the past – as evidenced by the ‘State of Cultivation’ information recorded at the level of individual fields as part of the 19th century Welsh tithe map surveys. 

 

The digitised tithe map survey data is central to the message being communicated through the maps available via the GATEWAY off the main page.

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However, there are gaps in this data; in particular ‘State of Cultivation’ at the level of individual fields was not recorded in every parish.  Coed Cadw worked with members of the Mixed Farming team to explore ways of filling these gaps.  See this report for more detail.

Use of tithe field name data to fill historic data gaps

This approach involved identifying key words indicating land use and developing a process to attribute a historic land use to the 19th century fields if a key word is present in the field names as recorded in the tithe map surveys.

 

A report on the derivation of the key word list can be downloaded here.  As this list of Welsh place name words indicative of land use may be of wider use, it is also available for download as a spreadsheet.

 

An example of the use of the approach and its flexibility is provided here.  This map shows the Biosphere wide distribution of key words relating to woods and trees as recorded in the 19th century field names.

Use of data from estate records

Landed estates create maps and records for their ongoing management and these can be an important source of data concerning historic farming practices – many predate the 1840 tithe surveys.  A method was designed by the Mixed Farming team to allow volunteers to:

  • Identify online fields (and their ‘field ID’) missing the historic land use attribute

  • Using an online Google form, input the land use and a reference for the source estate map document linked to the relevant field using the ‘field ID’ number

 

The map (viewable here) updates once the attribute has been input using this form.