If the water is contained in
a heavy waterlogged soil, it is a hindrance.
The way to drain land depends firstly on its location and slope.
If your land is on a good slope, it may simply be a case of clearing
out old ditches or digging new ones. Dropping ditches by an extra
foot in length can sometimes have a dramatic effect on the land;
as can providing a proper exit for the ditches. Many ditches do not
lead into sufficiently deep removal areas so that water stands in the
ditches instead of being led away. The only reason to have permanent
water in a ditch is if you intend to irrigate the land from
it. If you are trying to drain the land, make sure that the ditch
empties. You may have to consider mechanical drainage. There are
various grants available on some land for this and it is worth checking
whether your land would qualify.
Stock can also cause land to become waterlogged. A field that has naturally poor drainage turns
into a mud-bath when stocked with cattle or, even more, shod
horses. Horses are almost always bad for land. They do not
graze efficiently and tend to poach favourite areas. Even sheep
have to be kept off wet land in the winter. Over the long term it is
worth building up the humus level of your soil and letting
earthworms help you to aerate it.
All the cures for waterlogged
soils are time-consuming. In desperation you could always cover it
with concrete. There is one area in the West Country where many
small farms have unbelievably large areas of concrete. It was put
there by a succession of farmers who moved there because the land
was cheap. They soon found out why: it was wet and the local
farmers had the land correctly valued.