Volunteers, including residents, are helping John Staley to restore an extraordinary irrigation system in the grounds of Barton Farm, used by farmers in the 16th century. The intricate web of channels, sluices and hatches that controlled the irrigation of the meadows, are being restored or replaced. This ingenious piece of agricultural engineering accelerated the growth of grass and enabled farmers to give their cattle and sheep “an early bite” some six weeks before normal pasture was ready. £10,000 has been raised towards the project.