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Swaledale barn | by BingleymanPhotos
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Swaledale barn

Reminders of the Dale’s farming traditions are the bewildering number of barns scattered across the landscape. Almost every field has its own small, squat stone building tucked into a corner, like houses dotted across a Monopoly board. These charming buildings both add beauty to the landscape and provided a practical use for the local farmers. Unlike other areas, where livestock was brought into the main farmstead for winter, Swaledale farmers kept a handful of animals in each outlying barn. It may have meant a long round for the herdsman each day, but once the barns were in place it was a remarkably efficient system. Hay never left the field where it grew and once it had been fed to the animals, the resulting muck could be used to manure the same field.

 

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Taken on August 2, 2010