The difference in soil types amazes me. After the heavy weekend rain, I was anxious to see whether the land had got too soft for stock or whether some of the moisture deficits after the dry summer and autumn had simply been reduced. In fact, we had both.

In the most vulnerable field of gley-type soil, which I had intensively drained some years ago, the inherent poor structure allowed the water to percolate quickly down to the drains and the flow from the main drain into the ditch was visible, while the surface itself had quickly become too soft for any stock except sheep. On the other hand, the normal, mineral soil had easily absorbed the rain, the surface was fully trafficable and the drainage pipes going into the ditches were bone dry.