The Beechcroft volunteers worked their socks off yesterday at Hookheath. We’ve spent a good number of weeks cutting the meadows and raking up all the vegetation and it’s fair to say that it’s very hard going, especially in this muggy weather that we’ve been having!
The sward is typical of a very wet meadow. The stream running through, (a tributary of the Wallington) floods out over the site in winter and remains soggy in places all year. This leads to a vegetation type favoring wetter conditions so there is loads of Mint and Meadowsweet. This means the sward we’re cutting is very fragrant. It also means that it is packed full of invertebrates. Whilst working yesterday there was up to twenty small and large white butterflies floating around and a similar number of Migrant Hawkers feeding on the bugs we were disturbing.
We’re having to cut some of the meadows despite having cows on site. They don’t favor the tougher plants that have been taking over, so hopefully a few cuts will help solve this problem and the sward will come on leaps and bounds in the next few years.