1 AUGUST 1952, Page 14

Slate Fences Slate fences are unlikely to be found anywhere

but in a slate- quarrying district. From the look of them they are an old thing, and yet so effective that I wonder they have not been exported. The fences vary a little in height, but stand high enough to protect a field. They take the form of slats, each about eight or nine inches across and half an inch in thickness. The height is roughly three feet, and wire is woven or interlaced between each slat to hold it in its place. Such a fence would last for ever but for the fact that the wire lacing is bound to rust in time. Some of the fields of Caemarvonshire are enclosed by slate, for the county is famous for its quarries, Not only is it used for roofing, but gate-supports are slate slab's, steps are slate, flags and gravestones are all of the same material. The slate district is one of the wettest parts of the country, and the roofs of the towns and villages show at their best when they glisten with rain running down them. The valleys inland are marred by mountains of slate residue on which nothing can grow, and I am always puzzled that such quantities of material are not shipped away to make foundations for new roads or crushed and used in making concrete.