GMS News 92 2016

A Backyard Meadow

 


General_view_of_meadowWho’d have thought it? A meadow in my own backyard! After a hectic start to the year  we fell way behind in the  garden. Mowing the grass was low down the agenda with so many plants to plant out, tomatoes to take out side shoots  and so on and on! By the time I had a spare moment to cut the grass it was as you se it in the photo.

 

My first  thought was how short it was, not more than 25cm. And less in many places . Then I looked at the sheer diversity. I identified nineteen distinct species of flowering plants, without including the  grasses, of which there must be at least five. With grandchildren in mind I pulled up the thistle and stinging nettle, so currently there are 17

selfhealWhen we first moved in we laboriously levelled the plot and I had visions of a bowling green lawn. But all our spare cash went on doing up the house, so no money for turf or even seed. On land which had been well cultivated  for at least a couple of centuries the weeds grew thick and lush. My only option was to mow. To my surprise after a couple of months it started to look like a lawn.

hawkweedIn those early days there were times when mowing was low on the list of priorities and the grass grew long as the land was still well fertilised. Over many years of mowing and taking away the clippings and not applying fertiliser or weedkiller the land became impoverished, just right for a meadow. I have managed to keep it under control for many years until now. When we saw it we decided to leave it, at least for the rest of the summer. Already we have seen a number of chalk downland butterflies. So my recipe for a wildflower meadow is to neglect your lawn for 30 years, and then let it grow! 

 

 

The Village Fête

P7040118The Society operated 3 stalls at the fête. Diana asked me to pass on this message. We made £105. 20 profit at the village fete. My thanks to Jim and Nigel for manning the tubs, to John and Sylvia for their croquet game and to Margaret, Willie and my granddaughter Erris for their work on the pegging game. The photo is from last year, I’m afraid, as I forgot to take my camera this year. 

 

 

 

 

Last Month’s Meeting

DSC01656aChris Valdes, the project manager for Fort Burgoyne, works for the Land Trust, a charitable body which takes over green spaces.as He told us about how the Land Trust acquired the site after it was vacated by the military. They aim to create long term relationships with landowners, business, the wider community and other agencies devoted to land management and sustainability issues. Chris told us how the Trust achieved long term funding to enable development of sites. He related this to the long term aims of Fort Burgoyne and the progress being made. Also included in his talk was a brief history of the fort.

 

 

A Programme for the New Year 

A new year approaches at its usual alarming pace. Already it is time to think about what we might do next year. If you have any suggestions for a new programme please let Diana know. After the success of our archives evening a display of archives relating to the Church and Village Hall might meet with equal success.

 

July Meeting

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Our next meeting will be in the evening of July 21st when we will visit Samphire Hoe. After a successful visit last year members are keen to see any new developments.  Let’s hope for better weather this time!

We will meet at the Visitors’ Centre at 7.00 when Paul Holt will show us around the reserve.

Note the earlier time. This will allow us to complete the visit in daylight . If anyone would like a lift please let me know.

 



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