Farmer Palmers Woodland Walk Evolves over the years resulting in education to pre-schoolers. Let’s take a journey back in time.
Taking Care Of Our Environment
Farmer s are very conscious that we are guardians of the land and woodland that we own. We take this responsibility very seriously, caring for the hedges, ditches, environment, wildlife and precious eco existence.
Today’s modern land and woods are as a result of a deliberate shaping of the landscape. Farmers began sectioning the land into fields and today are responsible for managing and stewardship of the fields, hedges, and ditches. In additions they need to balance the environmental impact with optimum production.
Did Dinosaurs Walk On Farmer Palmers Land?
Yes. Dinosaurs lived between about 245 and 66 million years ago, in a time known as the Mesozoic Era. This was many millions of years before the first modern humans, Homo sapiens, walked the earth.
We are lucky enough to live within Purbeck where you can visit Dorset’s World Heritage Site The Jurassic Coast.
Sixty-six million years ago a devastating asteroid impact ended the world as they knew it. After that the dinosaurs became extinct. The Natural History Museum can tell you all about it.
History Of Organford Built On The River Sherford
Historians recorded Organford, as it is known today, as Firmade Argent back in 1196. The Chancellor’s copy of the “pipe rolls” * refers to it as a silvery stream, clear or sparkling water, or even silver money.
William Palmer with his wife and 5 children. the young lad on the left is David Palmer Senior, father to Sandra & Phillip Palmer of Farmer Palmers Farm Park.
The Palmers Grew up in Organford
Back in 1886, William Trenchard owned most of the land. My Great grandfather, Thomas Palmer, lived in the village and came from a family of bakers, blacksmiths and greengrocers. They bought a sack of flour from the local mill and baked bread, went out and sold it. The business in Organford began.
The village supported many workers from the local Organford Flax Mill, which was fed by the Sherford River, via Mill Ponds which are located within our area of Woodland Walk.
Between 1851 & 1881 Charles Anstey was the Miller and a farmer, he had 7 children. JJ Lawrence was the next Miller who also ran the Morden Mill, his nephew Mr. Tommy Marsh then took it over. The mill was a hive of industry employing lots of men as millers, carters and storemen.
Farmer Palmers Woodland Walk Evolves as the Mill Ceases Production
During the 1939 war the mill became run down and the milling almost ceased. By 1950 it had fallen into disuse and was being used for housing animals. A Mr. Boxborgh of Lagos then bought it and whilst clearing the site the mill caught fire and had to be demolished. As a result of it no longer being a viable mill the river and Mill Ponds were not required to the same levels and the land upstream was no longer managed. When Farmer Palmer Senior was a child he can remember it in its final stages as a mill as David Palmer used to sell bread to the local houses in the area.
The Palmer Family took over ownership of the Woodland Walk Area when Grandfather bought the farm in 1959.
The brickworks edging the old Mill Pond can still be seen today. With Sluice Gates still existing to let water in and out. It was not deep so nature was quick to take over with brackish water and decaying bog alders.
Plants and Trees and a Children’s Paradise
As a child I remember the riverbed was clearer and we used to play in it in the summer, sending poo sticks down the river and trying to catch and release little shrimps in the weir. Today nature has been left to take its natural course and the river is not suitable for play.
The Flora and Fauna
Our native species of tree within the Walk is Oak and the Bog Alder
The answer probably lies in a combination of things. Above all their small size, the fact they can eat a lot of different foods and their ability to fly, are key things that allowed them to evolve.
Today the Emu, Rheas and even Chickens are said to be direct relatives, related to the dinosaurs. If you wish to know more check out this National Geographic article from 2014 when a discovery was made.
But life comes full circle and in the year 2020, over 66 million years since the dinosaurs died out, the Woodland Walk, in little ole Organford is going to welcome the cutest, quietest, motionless brightly coloured characters back onto the riverbanks.
Farmer Palmers Woodland Walk Evolves Sources:
Natural History Museum
The Woodland Trust
Low Res Free Mill image from Unknown publisher
* Pipe Rolls of the Exchequer are accounts of royal income arranged by county for each financial year. These are the earliest surviving series public records and are essentially continuous from 1155 onwards until the 19th Century. The sheriff’s accounts form the core of the early pipe rolls