Grassland of Great Britain

    • An Erratum to this article was published on 28 November 1936


    AT a meeting of the Engineers Study Group on Economics held on November 10, Prof. R. G. Staple-don discussed methods of dealing with the problem of grassland in Great Britain. He exhibited a map of Wales, the result of a recent survey, and pointed out that there are only 16,000 acres of proper pastures (rye grass), although at least a third of the 153,000 acres under bracken is of high potential value. To make the best use of the 18,000,000 acres of rough hill grazing ground in Great Britain, Prof. Stapledon considers that it is necessary for the State to acquire and develop it. This, he believes, would be economically feasible over a period of 25-50 years, beginning at once with an area of not less than 200,000 acres. Agriculturally, the potentialities of the hill land not above the 150 ft. contour (in all, more than 14,500,000 acres) are enormous, at least 20 per cent of that area being amenable to radical improvement. Lowland grass could be used for drying and for wintering, and improved upland grass for summering, and the plough, oats and fatting crops everywhere. Roads and tracks should be constructed in connexion with land improvement and afforestation. Sir Richard Paget, who presided at the meeting, expressed his appreciation of the pioneer work of Prof. Stapledon, and Lord Northbourne, in opening the discussion, stressed the importance of preserving individual initiative.

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    Grassland of Great Britain. Nature 138, 875 (1936).

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