Mowing the Meadows

Once again a fine day for the yearly mow, starting with the Orchid Bank Scabious flower First cut … then remove … A moving haystack Tomorrow the team will be in the Hills and Hollows, meeting at the Morrisons entrance around 9.45am  

Quarry Field Conservation Task

A sunny, busy day with many out for their daily constitutional Next, some scrub-bashing – removal of encroaching elm suckers. Before … And after … The meadow restored All the better for wild-flowers Well done folks

St David’s, Kingsthorpe Mini Fungal Foray

In the meadow next to the golf-course, what is this dear little canary-yellow mushroom, any ideas? LBJ? Looks like sticky desiccated coconut. Myxomycete perhaps?

Waxcaps at Bradlaugh Fields

These pretty fungi are increasingly rare to find nowadays, because their habitat is “unimproved” grassland, ie grassland that hasn’t had fertilisers tipped all over it. The Waxcap Conservation website says: Waxcaps need short turf (i.e. regularly mown or grazed), no fertiliser or lime input and no disturbance, e.g. ploughing or reseeding … To conserve Lawn […]

Wildflowers of Bradlaugh Fields #64 Red Bartsia

Although this plant has been flowering for a month or two already, it’s about this time of year that Red Bartsia starts to become conspicuous, especially in trodden-down areas and by the side of paths and trackways. More pink than red, it is like its cousin Yellow Rattle in the shape of its flowers and […]

Wildflowers of Bradlaugh Fields #63 Common Restharrow

These pink and white pea-like flowers belong to the Common Restharrow, so called because the wiry plant used to tangle up in agricultural machinery, like harrows, and stop them working. It grows in open fields and grassy places and like all the Pea and Bean family it has a fertilising effect on the soil. The […]

Mowing the Meadows at Bradlaugh Fields: Day 2

The Thursday started with some dark clouds, but soon turned sunny and volunteers sweltered in the heat, labouring hard to rake up and remove the piles of vegetation cut down by Wildlife Trust staff with strimmers. Even after the day before, there was so much still to do up on ‘Scrub’ Field and Orchid Bank, […]

Community Hay Harvest

Over at Spitalifields Life there’s an excellent report about the hay harvest at Hackney Marshes, organised as a fantastic community event for everbody to join in, have fun, fresh air and keep fit in the process: In celebration of Lammastide, which marks the beginning of the grain harvest, Contributing Photographer Colin O’Brien & I went […]

Wildflowers of Bradlaugh Fields #61 Small Scabious

Small Scabious flourishes especially well in the dry, bare stony soil of the Hills and Hollows where the topsoil was scraped away to give wild-flowers a chance against the aggressive grasses that otherwise dominate where there is no grazing or mowing to remove nutrients. The attractive powder-blue flowers are lightly sweet-scented and a real magnet […]