Lathyrus Odoratus

By lathyrus

Rabbit farming

Walking through one of the last visited parts of the common this morning I came across several of these 'pillow' mounds. Its not much to look at but this is almost certainly a man-made, probably medieval, rabbit warren. The mounds are all of a similar cigar shape and size and tend to be oriented down the slope and surrounded by a shallow ditch. They have survived because the common land has never been cultivated. There are plenty of clues in the place names round about, the nearest properties have names like Warreners and Warren Cottage and one of the nearby roads is called Warren Way. When the railway was being built there was a navvies camp about quarter of a mile away for a couple of years (including the 1891 census which records 40 people living in the 'Railway Huts'). Its possible that they might also have trapped the rabbits from these warrens. The spaniel can attest that there still plenty of rabbits in the area!

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