We have been working with Fjordr to develop a method to help identify where floodplain meadows were in the past using online map resources. We have been testing this method through some local projects and in particular catchments. Our findings so far are shown on our historic floodplain meadows map.
You can filter the map to see whether any of the local sites were Common meadows, whether the mapped evidence shows Funnel shapes, and by the names used for meadows on old maps. If you click through to a particular meadow there is more information about the sources used to identify it and a level of confidence applied. It will also tell you if we have found references to Domesday for meadows in the area.
Plot names and state of cultivation recorded in the apportionments accompanying tithe maps are excellent historical pointers from the 1840s indicating former land use. The name of plots recorded in the tithe apportionment can provide clues as to the original use of the plots. Some names, such as mead, have their origins in medieval field names. Frequently found names include Lammas, common, mead, ham, dole, ings. Some of these place names are regional: doles are commonly found in the south west, while ings are found in the north east. Whilst some names refer directly to meadow (mead) others, such as ham, refer to areas of land that were affected by water and flooding.
If you are interested in finding out more about how to explore the history of your local floodplain landuse, visit more about getting involved here.
The resource links will take you to some of the studies we have carried out on particular catchments, where you can see the methods used and the findings, in more detail.