Thursday, 21 August 2014

Cutting the Coronation Meadow

The grass on the farm has grown so well this year that Farmer decided to make silage in the Coronation Meadow again, in order to get the best of the nutrition from the field, and to best look after the wild flowers.   We have kept livestock out of the field to allow the flowers to set seed and this means that the grass is quite long!

If we were to let the cows in to the field now they would trample most of the grass - rendering it wasted.  So making silage will take the grass off the field, create better growing conditions for next years flowers and as it is still only August, there will be some fresh grass for the cows later in the month! A win win situation.

However some areas of the field are still flowering.  So Farmer has been selectively cutting the field, allowing the areas of Tufted vetch to finish and set seed before he comes back to cut it. 

We had a man from Butterfly Conservation Scotland here yesterday surveying again for Marsh Fritillary butterflies.   Farmer enjoyed a chat with him and reported back that he had been surprised by the abundant bio-diversity at Treshnish.  Regretfully he didn't find any evidence of MFs but he said all the decorations were up for the party but the guests hadnt arrived yet!   We await with bated breath.  Apparently MFs have reached Tiree this summer having not been seen there for years, so perhaps some will blow over this way on the north westerly winds...

Farmer is cutting lots of small areas of the Coronation Meadow, but leaving swathes with Birds Foot Trefoil and Knapweed uncut.  The cows will enjoy these areas when we finally let them through the gate to graze to their hearts content!

With the rowing up done Farmer can take the implement off the back of the tractor and trundle home for Treshnish beef, home grown potatoes and salad.  Perfect!
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