Skodborg-Københoved irrigation channel
Skodborg-Københoved irrigation channel was the first irrigation system at the river Kongeå. The association behind the system was created on February 8 1870. It consisted of farmers in Skodborg and Skrave parishes who had meadows leading down to the river Kongeå. The same year, the association bought the mill Knag Mølle, or rather the right to use the irrigation channel. The mill was of no interest to them. It was leased out.
Irrigation channels are dug
Planning an irrigation system took time. It was not until September 1874 that a project was ready. It was Det Danske Hedeselskab (the Danish Heath Society) fronted by Enrico Dalgas, who was responsible for the construction of the system. A partnership was created. It included 17 landowners who jointly financed the digging of the main channel with sub-channels and the construction of bridges at the two public roads. Spouts, bridges and other installations on individual land owners' meadow was paid for by each individual meadow owner.
The channel's water intake came from Knag Mølle's weir. Then it ran under the mill and into the meadows south of Kongeåen. The channel ended west of Københoved. Three landowners' meadows did not lie directly adjacent to the main channel, so sub-channels were laid for these meadows. The meadows were irrigated in turn with water from the channel. The irrigation was only done at certain periods of the year.
Knag Mølle is sold
In 1920, Skodborg-Københoved Engforening decided to sell Knag Mølle. One of the conditions of sale was that they could retain the right to the amount of water that was needed to water the members' meadows. In one swoop, they managed to secure that the mill was maintained and looked after the weir, just as the meadow association secured the right of first refusal to the mill.
Engvandingen ophørte i 1961 og interessentskabet blev opløst. Den enkelte lodsejer stod selv for fjernelse af anlægget på egen jord, mens Haderslev Amtsråd overtog ansvaret for broen under Haderslevvej. Skrave Sogneråd overtog ansvaret for broen under Frihedsvejen. Mange steder undervejs på jeres tur vil I møde spor efter engvandingsanlæg. The meadow irrigation ceased in 1961 and the partnership was dissolved. The individual landowners were responsible for the removal of the system on their own land, while Haderslev County Council took over the responsibility for the bridge under Haderslevvej. Skrave Parish took responsibility for the bridge under the Frihedsvejen. Along the way on your tour, you are sure to see traces of the meadow irrigation system.
Author: Linda Klitmøller, museum curator, Sønderskov Museum