Tuesday, 18 September 2012

Grassland management

During the recent good weather lots of our time has been spent cutting grass from a few of our areas of Limestone grassland. We do this to prevent the nutrient levels in the soil from increasing as this would encourage growth of nettles and other undesirable plants that would out compete the delicate wildflowers. One field, opposite the Wenlock Edge Inn was done using a mower attached to a tractor, the dried grass was then baled using a tractor and removed from the field using a tractor. This was fairly straight forward and not too time consuming. Most of the other areas of grassland are too small to use an industrial sized mower and they also contain ant hills which would be destroyed by such techniques. So we borrowed a Sickle bar mower from our friends at Attingham Park and spent a few days motoring around small, awkwardly shaped fields trying to avoid upsetting the ants.
Once the grass had dried out it was simply a case of raking it up and loading it onto a trailer, it is only then that you realise just how much you have cut, You also realise that it would be useful to be able to rake both left and right handed as one side of your body tends to feel it a little after a few days! All the grass has now gone, in some of the fields we will introduce a few sheep to eat back any late Summer/Autumn growth.
Near the entrance to Wilderhope Manor

 

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