Hay Meadow Restoration

Rhys_Evans

Member
Livestock Farmer
Location
Dolgellau
Hi all
I'm based in South Snowdonia (Rhyd-y-main near Dolgellau) and I'm looking to restore a 1ha field parcel into a hay meadow.
Some info on the field in question;

- It's been permanent pasture for 30 years+
- Received no nitrogen fertilizer or FYM for probably 30 years+
- Grazed all year with sheep for over 30 years+

I'm interested to know how other would go about it? Would you;
- Remove livestock next May and see what kind of crop/ plants establish?
- Plough and reseed with a hay meadow mixture?
- Use se a sub-soiler and seed?

Are there other considerations? Any advice would be greatly appreciated :)

Diolch
 

Sharpy

Member
Livestock Farmer
Hi all
I'm based in South Snowdonia (Rhyd-y-main near Dolgellau) and I'm looking to restore a 1ha field parcel into a hay meadow.
Some info on the field in question;

- It's been permanent pasture for 30 years+
- Received no nitrogen fertilizer or FYM for probably 30 years+
- Grazed all year with sheep for over 30 years+

I'm interested to know how other would go about it? Would you;
- Remove livestock next May and see what kind of crop/ plants establish?
- Plough and reseed with a hay meadow mixture?
- Use se a sub-soiler and seed?

Are there other considerations? Any advice would be greatly appreciated :)

Diolch
Remove livestock late April, cut at end of July, try to make hay ie Ted out a couple of times to thrash the seed off, allow cattle to graze aftermath.
Repeat for as long as it takes.
 

Rhys_Evans

Member
Livestock Farmer
Location
Dolgellau
Remove livestock late April, cut at end of July, try to make hay ie Ted out a couple of times to thrash the seed off, allow cattle to graze aftermath.
Repeat for as long as it takes.
Thanks (y)
Have you taken this approach yourself? If so, how long did it take for hay meadow to reach it's full potential so to speak i.e. a decent crop coupled with nice floristic diversity?
 

Sharpy

Member
Livestock Farmer
Thanks (y)
Have you taken this approach yourself? If so, how long did it take for hay meadow to reach it's full potential so to speak i.e. a decent crop coupled with nice floristic diversity?
No, I haven't. But you have to create conditions to allow any seeds in the soil to germinate, or more likely the tiny overgrazed weeds time to grow and turn into wildflowers. Hence later cutting and grazing with cattle.
 

GeorgeK

Member
Location
Leicestershire
The main determinant of what will grow is soil type, drainage, fertility and indexes. Try to go against this and it will be a never ending battle of spraying and reseeds you will never win because the plants best suited to the conditions will always prevail in the end. Ph and P + K can be tested and modified to some extent as can drainage to suit the plants you wish to grow. The fundamental soil characteristics such as light/heavy, free/slow draining cannot be changed and will largely determine the flowers that will grow naturally. Light, free draining, less fertile ground tends to suit wild flowers best. On stronger land wild flowers will struggle to compete with the meadow grass, clover, buttercups etc.
It's not as simple as planting some flower meadow mix and shutting the gate. You need to get to know your land and work with it and carefully manage it if you are to succeed.
 
Last edited:

Update on the Sustainable Farming Incentive pilot

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Update on the Sustainable Farming Incentive pilot

Written by Lisa Applin

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In July, we opened the applications window for farmers to join our Sustainable Farming Incentive pilot.

The Sustainable Farming Incentive is 1 of the 3 new environmental land management schemes. It sits alongside the future Local Nature Recovery and Landscape Recovery schemes.

Through the Sustainable Farming Incentive, farmers will be paid for environmentally sustainable actions – ones that are simple to do and do not require previous agri-environment scheme experience.

We are piloting the scheme to...
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