Over the last month our staff and volunteers have been working on the Ings harvesting the meadows, albeit not in the traditional sense. Prior to the local farmers taking the hay crop, our team have been using a seed harvester to gather seeds from the hay meadows across the site, as well as collecting them by hand.
Each year we stagger the harvest, allowing us to collect a wide range of grasses and herb species as individual species ripen at different intervals. All of this seed is dried - easy to do this year with the very dry, hot and sunny weather, and is now ready to be used to enhance other meadow restoration sites elsewhere in the local area and occasionally further afield.
It’s great to be able to use our NNRs in this way – not only does it help create pockets of species rich grassland which can be used as stepping stones through the landscape, but it also provides more sustainable and resilient grassland to withstand seasonal flooding events, and can be used for grazing animals and agricultural production, as well as creating areas for people to enjoy. It’s also a great way to raise a little bit of extra money through donations to help support further conservation efforts in the LDV.
We’ll be out and about next week across the county helping to spread some of our seed at the recipient sites - if you’d like some for any projects then please feel free to get in touch.