Out of personal curiosity I was interested to see what sorts of fields existed in the Faroe Islands. Most of the landscape proved to be unenclosed pasture, grazed by countless sheep. Fenced, and in some cased walled, fields were in use around farms and villages; some of these were derelict and ignored by the sheep.
In several places I noted what appeared to be lynchets, that is horizontal, linear scarps on slopes. Most were small, forming areas of ‘crinkly’ surface which were certainly terracettes, that is geomorphological scarps formed naturally on often steep slopes as the soil under its grass cover moved gradually downhill to the foot of the steep slope on the other side of a valley under the influence of gravity and water. Such are exemplified here in a view looking down one steep slope, grazed by a sheep, across a narrow inlet to the lower slope of the steep valley side opposite:
But the view also clearly suggests that parts of the terracette area have been smoothed over (cultivated?), apparently to create small lynchetted rectangular fields. That such are defined by lynchets suggests the enclosed areas were ploughed; that this might have been some time ago is suggested by the apparent mini-terrracettes which are forming on the fields.
Immediately adjacent on the same slope opposite a larger, cleared area appears to contain three or four larger fields, divided on the right by ditches and on the left by slight banks or lynchets creating long narrow strips lying up and down the slope. The whole is well-drained. The upper edge is defined by a terraced track and a wall, exactly as along the upper edge of the in-bye land around valley-bottom farms in the English Lake District.
When flying out of Faroe’s international airport on Vagar in brilliant sunshine, I noted what appeared to be flights of ‘strip lynchets’ along the western edge of one of the other islands. I cannot be absolutely sure of the location but it was on either Sandoy or Suduroy, probably the latter.
Obviously, I have not inspected these features on the ground, nor have I yet researched whatever knowledge there might be about pre-modern agricultural history on the Faroes. I just noted en passant a reference to the collection of seaweed to manure the land, presumably cultivated, so perhaps a field of genuine enquiry awaits its landscape archaeologist here, exemplified by these two air photographs: