Levant Fields project
Levant Fields came back into direct National Trust management at the end of 2016. It had previously been used for grazing cattle, storing silage and keeping pigs.
Making a plan
As part of our commitment to restoring a healthy, beautiful and natural environment, we quickly made a plan to improve conservation work in the fields.
We began by repairing stone hedges, replacing gates, making mineshafts safe and clearing large amounts of bramble and rubbish.
Most of the small enclosed fields are now being managed as hay meadows so that in time they will become rich in wildflowers and great for invertebrates such as butterflies. We are cutting the grass for hay in September so that the flowers can be around for longer and set their seed for future years. At the time of cutting, we will scatter fresh green hay from some of the better fields onto those of poorer quality so that the seeds of wildflowers begin to spread.
We have one field with significant amounts of bramble, which is home to a number of badgers. This field will be mostly left so that the badgers remain undisturbed, and the bramble can provide an important habitat. We will trim the bramble back so that it doesn’t encroach any further.
Farmland birds struggle for food during the winter, so we have converted two of the fields into arable production using heavy horses. We have planted spring barley combined with linseed and instead of traditionally cutting these for a crop and leaving stubble fields, we will leave these during the winter as a food crop for birds and see what happens.