There was a good turn out of Belford and District Local History Society members to hear Steve Pullan of Natural England give a most interesting talk about the brothers Matthew and George Culley and their agricultural improvements in this area in the late 18th and early 19th centuries.
Well known for introducing mule sheep, the use of turnips as a fodder crop and improving crop rotations generally, Steve concentrated on a further improvement – their development and use of water meadows as a means of improving soil fertility, illustrating his talk with early estate maps and photographs of the archaeological evidence.
That the Culleys were highly successful in their enterprises was confirmed by the fact that, over the years, their land-holding grew from one farm, Fenton, to 15 between Easington Grange and the Scottish Borders.
Our final speaker meeting of the season is on May 29, when Derek Sharman will speak on Berwick’s Food Heritage. Visitors welcome (£2).