Restoring the meadow for wildflowers remains our priority and to help us cut back the grass we are hoping to put sheep on the main part of the meadow for several weeks in late September and October. We will be installing a temporary electric fence between the meadow and Lag Wood, with gates to allow access to the wood. All dogs will need to be kept on leads while sheep are in the meadow. There will be warning signs to remind dog-owners when sheep are present.
The sheep need to get to the stream to drink and we’ll be cutting back some of the thistles and brambles to improve access for them. We also need to cut back thistles and brambles in other parts of the meadow. This is a tricky subject as these are a huge food source for birds, butterflies and many other invertebrates. So we intend to manage them in rotation to ensure these habitats are preserved but not allowed to dominate the meadow. This will mean removing some parts of the blackthorn thickets and many of the saplings that have started to grow in the meadow itself.
A very big thank you to the many people who gave their names as volunteers at the HAA AGM. We will be in contact when we have finalised our plans regarding sheep and fencing, we may well need your help.