No Mow May and June
Several sites in Watlington took part in the “No Mow May” initiative, with owners and
managers encouraging a more relaxed approach to grass cutting, allowing grasses and
wildflowers to grow and bloom. By extending this approach beyond May, even more
species get the chance to flower. Both the Marlbrook Meadow project and Stonor Green
will have uncut areas for the rest of the summer but are being managed with some mown open areas and paths to allow play and access, making the grasslands more inviting.
We have been delighted to discover pyramidal orchids on Marlbrook Meadow and bee
orchids on Stonor Green. This shows how seeds can survive for many years in the soil,
waiting to grow when the right conditions occur. Among the other species on these sites are ox-eye daisies and yellow rattle at Marlbrook and yarrow and cut-leaf cranesbill on Stonor Green.
For further information about No Mow May and ways to encourage more diverse grasslands, see www.plantlife.org.uk
West Meadow Hedge film
The hedge in West Meadow is doing well, although the weeds are too! Volunteers have
been pulling up some of the goose grass from around the hedge plants. The new fence has been installed so cattle can return to graze, and the hedge is protected.
Nicola Schafer’s inspiring film about the West Meadow Hedge is now available on
YouTube - https://youtu.be/kzU1Zch1-50 . This film is a wonderful record of this local project and we hope it will inspire many other communities to plant more hedges to diversify the landscape and create valuable wildlife habitats.
Tree Foster Scheme
We have several young native trees, including ash, hazel, and hawthorn, coming up in our
garden and would very much like to be able to plant them out in the parish. Many other
gardeners may also have trees they could share; we are still on the lookout for some help
with co-ordinating our Tree Foster Scheme. This is such a great way to link people with
spare tree saplings with those who have space to care for the young trees until they can be planted out locally. Please contact me if you would like to know more about the scheme, we would like to see it succeed here in Watlington.
Fiona Danks email@example.com