Thursday, 18 March 2010

Mowing at Upton Warren

Thanks to Gordon, his friend with machinery and volunteers several areas were mown on Saturday prior to the breeding season. Flashes East (Sewage meadow) now looks 100% better than it did - which will improve the habitat for the birds, wild flowers and insects over the coming months.

Since we have been regularly mowing the area around the main hide we have seen notable increases in wild flowers such as lady's smock, meadow buttercups
and vetches as well as knapweed, marsh thistle and other composite-type plants which are highly attractive to butterflies and bumblebees. This provides valuable extra interest during the summer months that are often relatively quiet, bird-wise. Despite a series of summers with poor weather, we continue to see increasing numbers of marbled White, ringlets, meadow browns and skippers in this area, for instance. Such insects are becoming scarcer in the intensively-farmed wider countryside.

This diversity is in contrast to the sewage meadow which, because of inadequate management in the past, mainly consists of tussock-
forming coarse grasses with relatively little interest. Hopefully, this will now start to change.

With this in mind I hope we can look forward to mowing of the sewage meadow twice a year (once in spring and again in each autumn).

David, Upton Warren

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