Today, our contractors will be cutting the grass in one section of the Hay Meadow at Centenary Field!
Cutting back the grass in the hay meadow is a vital step in improving and maintaining biodiversity. Grass cutting allows wildflowers (many of which drop their seeds in late summer) to have a more competitive chance to germinate and grow without being overwhelmed by more vigorous species of grass. Grass cutting also allows plants to drop their seeds – this is why we only cut grass in the late summer and autumn, when plants have already gone to seed.
As per our Grassland 5-year Management plan, (part of our wider Biodiversity plan), we only cut the hay meadow at Centenary Field once a year and on a rotational basis. Cutting in rotation means that there are always areas of tall grasses and wildflowers left for wildlife – and we always leave areas around the perimeter of the meadow uncut, too, for the same reason! Too much mowing can be as bad for biodiversity as none at all, as over-moving can result in thick, strong, un-diverse grasses like you would find on a lawn. Our plan for grass-cutting is designed for maximum biodiversity.
These photographs, taken by Cllr. Selman, are from last year’s grass-cutting. Take a look!
photos courtesy of Councillor Julian Selman.