KIPLING'S SUSSEX - online book

An illustrated descriptive guide, to the places mentioned in
the writings of Rudyard Kipling.

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THE SUSSEX DOWNS                217
earth to the depth of a few feet, leaving generally a hollow of chalky rubble. Then the floor is puddled with clay, and left to dry. Sometimes a few flints are placed on the clay and stamped in. These ponds should be made in the spring when the weather is mild, as frost will crack and ruin them. The upheaval made by worms is fatal to them, too. Animals should not be allowed to tread in a freshly constructed pond; the clay being soft is easily perforated. If the floor is left to dry and not touched, water will come, rain or dry. I notice that many of them are now con­structed with plain cement, and others are made by working a layer of chalk and hot lime on a well beaten-in chalk foundation. That fog and rain are the prime agents in the filling of sheep ponds is certain. Mr. Walter Johnson in his essay on " Ancient Ponds," puts forward the following theories :
" When we come to ask why such a large amount of moisture should be concentrated on the small area of the mist pond there is a hot dispute. Some writers airily dismiss the problem as very simple, though their own explanations are by no means of that nature. Others assume the action of electricity, others again invoke the aid of the dust particles floating in the atmosphere. The question has been discussed at a meeting of the British Association, though even there unanimity was
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