Hay-cutting and habitat conservation
We work with a local grazier to take a hay cut of the long grass on Castle Field each summer, just as you would with any managed hay meadow. The arisings – dead and now unwanted grass – are baled and used for animal bedding or feed. Removing the arisings at this stage, to stop them rotting down and releasing nitrogen back into the soil, is a crucial part of meadow conservation. This reduces the vigour of rank grass species, allowing wildflowers to colonise more rapidly. The grass is cut once more in October, replicating the natural ‘aftermath grazing’ normally carried out by sheep or cattle.