Posted by: lhct | September 3, 2014

Razing ragwort

The imminent hay cut will encourage more wild flowers in the sward and increase its conservation value, as the HDC countryside warden team has just stated in an earlier post. This is also part of the farm’s grassland management programme and its Higher Level Stewardship (HLS) status.

Much of the hay once cut, dried and baled will go for cattle feed and while ragwort is a valuable source of nectar for insects late in the season, once dead and dry it can be toxic to some livestock.

So, a small team of FCF volunteers recently set forth with secateurs and rubbish sacks and sought out the ragwort plants so as to remove them before the hay cut. [Sounds like the ballad of John Barleycorn.]

Although only a few plants were found in the target fields, some were left in the uncut headlands (between field boundaries and the hay cut areas) to continue to support a small range of insects.

Tim Thomas




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