One of the things that struck me as we left Manchester Airport and headed up the M6 Motorway to Lancaster was how many sheep there were in the fields beside the motorway. It occurred to me that I had not noticed them before as I was generally driving and would have my eyes on the road. This time however, I was in the passenger seat and could take the time to look out of the windows. There were sheep everywhere! White sheep
Field upon field of them. I am sure it also has something to do with the Mad Cow outbreak years ago that farmers decided that sheep farming was a safer bet than cattle, but the whole thing fascinated me.
I was also delighted to discover that the hedgerows and dry stone walls had not been removed to create massive fields but the traditional green patchwork quilt effect was still in play.
Dry stone walls are a work of art in an of themselves, especially when they have aged nicely and are home to mosses and ferns.
It was of some concern that the art of building dry stone walls was dying out but from what I understand there is a healthy apprenticeship program underway to keep it alive.
When people abroad think of England they tend to believe that the entire country is like London, or indeed that the rest of England is just an extension of London. That is a little like thinking if you have seen New York you have seen America, which my American readers will know is far from the truth.
England is a jewel of an Island, and I was glad to see that while it may have the same problems as many other countries in the world, some things are constant. It always has been and always will be a green and pleasant land.