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This Bank Holiday sees us reinstating what was the lawn bit of the wlldflower meadow in front of Lawson Park -underneath this soil is the equivalent of a small house containing the water and drainage for the new hostel. Here's our jolly Swiss intern Ladina weeding....
We've received a fascinating detailed examination of the beautiful 1 hectare meadow that Lawson Park overlooks, from the Cumbria Hay Meadows project. There are 30 native plant species present apparently, but its steepness makes it unsuited as a formal seed-donor site for others trying to establish native meadows unfortunately, as equipment struggles on the slopes.
It's all a far cry from the downright ignorant complaint we had about the meadow after last year's NGS charity open day: "There were no wildflowers to be seen". Clearly a blindfolded visitor.
Anyhow, the report recommends:
• Manage the whole parcel for its floristic and habitat
interest, focussing on the species rich neutral grassland , tall
herb vegetation and small parcel of oak woodland.
• Re-instate a cutting and preferably grazing regime over the area.
• Sow the area of disturbed ground below the building with a suitable seed mix and manage with the rest of the herb rich neutral grassland sward.
You can read more about the Cumbria Hay Meadows Project here. Email us if you'd like to receive a copy of the whole report or if indeed you'd like some hand-harvested seed this summer, to start your own meadow.
Google earth, eat your heart out!
This aerial photo of the farm and garden shows the formal Kitchen Garden to the far west (the ubiquitous mountain bikers can be spotted on the turning circle), ornamental gardens towards the house, and to the south the extensive wildflower meadow.
Mowing the pathways in the wild-flower meadow last week, I plugged in my iPod to drown out the racket of the petrol-driven mower. During the majestic throes of 'Shot from both sides' by Magazine I began to get into my stride, when the mower halter violently. I bent down to unclog the blades and yanked out a handful of damp grass only to find a revoltingly dismembered - but still alive - toad.
Suggestions for other sounds to mow to?
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