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Friday, 1 January 2016

Flying Bent

Many older grass books refer to Purple Moor Grass as Flying Bent. This is a good observation for this grass where all its foliage dies above ground in Winter. The leaves then become airborne in windy weather and get trapped on fences, the sail like effect can then break fences in heavy weather. Sometimes dry stone walls are completely covered in a mass of dry leaves on the windward side.
These 2 photos taken up Kebs Road above Todmorden give good examples of Flying Bent having landed!
Incidentally, the stems of this grass used to be twined by fishermen in the Orkneys to make ropes; also prized by continental fishermen as enduring longer then hempen twine. Countrymen made brooms from its strong and long straw---sold cheaply it is said. From "Gramina Britannica-J L Knapp" 1804.


Steve Blacksmith said...

Great info. A bit of social history makes an academic subject so much more interesting.

I had heard of people collecting useful amounts of wool from fences/thorn bushes.

ChrisJB said...

I always like to see 'flying bent' on the roadside fences. There was recently a good display up by Buckstones.