This film is part of Free

Land Clearance on the Farm

Kathleen Arrowsmith's lovely colour film captures how once back-breaking rural tasks were made much easier with some mechanical assistance

Amateur film 1939 4 mins Silent

From the collection of:

Logo for Screen Archive South East


Kathleen Arrowsmith's short colour film, made during the first winter of the war, shows how the necessary task of land clearance was made much easier by the use of a TracTractTor T20 caterpillar tractor. We see it pull up large numbers of small trees and bushes, which are then burnt on site, as the farmer creates new fields for future cultivation of the land under wartime conditions.

Mrs Kathleen Arrowsmith mainly filmed at Warren Farm near Streatley in Berkshire. Her films provide a vivid portrait of rural life on a working farm in 1930s Berkshire. Many of her films feature traditional hand and steam-powered mechanical farming techniques used to harvest wheat and other crops like vegetables. Her later films feature views of larger vehicles of the period, as well as views of rearing livestock and a variety of breeds of working horses on the family farm. The TracTracTor T20, which features in this film, was made by the International Harvester company, which began to produce the model in 1931.