We have now taken over responsibility for maintenance of the wildflower meadow and Stephen Govier is our “meadow officer”. We have acquired a scythe and to date three mowings have been made. The last one took place a couple of weeks ago.
A number of plants (57 in total) were identified earlier this year and in September after some creeping thistle had been removed from the ground patches of bare soil created by the weeding were experimentally seeded with Deptford pink (Dianthus armeria), Ploughman’s spikenard (Inula conyzae), Dark mullein (Verbascrum Nigrum), and Nettle-leaved bellflower (Campanula trachelium). The seeds were purchased and donated by one of the Friends. Other seeds collected and dispersed across the meadow include Borage, Enchanters nightshade, Columbine, Corn marigold, and Wild carrot. The removal of the thistle, which opened up some patches of the bare soil, will enable the seeds to root and grow.
The leavings from the mowings have been used to create haystacks after a traditional lay followed by turning. We hope the scything will promote both some annuals and biennials, but mostly perennials as we seek to build a bio-diverse woodland.
Early next year a cut will be made before April (depending on weather conditions) in an attempt to try and control the lush grass in more fertile parts of the meadow. These lawn-type grasses otherwise out-compete even Yellow rattle seedlings. A 70mm high cut using a scythe is just high enough to miss the majority of young annuals, like Yellow rattle, pushing up through the grass and they can recover from mowing or grazing damage.
Download the .pdf of wild flowers seen in the meadow in 2014.