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117 businesses were identified in the questionnaire, but the majority of them do not employ other peo- ple. The largest employer is the school with 21 em- ployees, followed by the Toyota garage and the Dean surgery with 18. Many of these jobs though are filled by people from outside the village.

Farming is still a significant feature of Ropley life, although due to modern mechanisation it is no longer a major employer. Most of the acreage is now farmed in large units of nearer 1,000 acres rather than the 200 acres common a generation or so ago. No commercial dairy herds remain in Ropley, but livestock — particularly sheep — are an integral part of our countryside and heritage. There are a number of specialist nursery growers, particularly Lyewood and Oakleigh nurseries on the Petersfield Road, and Ropley has its own winery, with Court Lane Vineyard being established in 1978. Stephen Flook now runs this as a small family con- cern, and since 1993 the wine has been made and bottled on the premises. Traditional pruning meth- ods are used to train the vines (see photo on page 3),

Lyeway Farm — mixed arable and livestock (although the livestock were photo-shy when this picture was taken)

Manor Farm — Farmed by the Graham family. Also includes the land which used to be Dean Farm.

which grow well on the drained light clay loam over- laying flinty chalk.

A more modern industry is the manufacture of “polytunnels” by McGregors in Monkwood, and there are a number of poultry units and sheep farms on a smaller scale.

59% of the respondents are economically active (employed or seeking employment). This is a de- crease on the 1991 Census when the percentage was 62%. However, the number unemployed has de- clined during the same period, down to 2%. The number self-employed is 19.3%, with 7% employing other people.

Only 20% of the people questioned work within Ropley, and two thirds travel more than 5 miles. Of the 59% actively employed the propor- tions are shown on the pie chart on the facing page.

The most popular method of transport to work is the car or motorcycle which is used by 84% of people. It is not surprising that only 4.2% use public transport and this includes those undertaking train- ing or study.

Ropley at the Millennium — 23

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