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  • Rodborough Common, along with Michinhampton Common, Selsley and Edge Common are called 'commons'; this is a thing left over from the old manor system that once defined and structured the communities of people those lives were bound to the land lord and his manor. A common was a piece of land put aside from the cultivated fields where the peasant farmers could let their cattle graze and roam for most of the year. This still happens here, with the coming of Spring local farmers bring out their cattle to freely graze and manure the flower rich grasses of the common. The cows live outside until the beginning of winter. They bring a very special presence to the land, and to the people who encounter them walking up there. You can see where they gather to sleep,scuplting out rough hollows in the shelter of close-knitted hawthorn groves, which sporadically thrive here and there, tough and beautiful. Or if you go out walking at night, you can pass through their great, warm huddles, listening to them breathing like friendly dragons. Sometimes in the day you might see them all migrating over to another part of the common, like a village of nomads heading on to new pastures. The cows are sensitive to their world in a way which makes us seem dull; they can be disturbed easily and watch you going past with considerable attention. They also block traffic going along the road which chops through the common, forcing the people in their steel boxes to consider the slower, gentler, and lovelier ways of the cow.
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