A very special place / Cutting dates

A recent survey has confirmed just how special the Lower Meadow is. Its wide range of species puts it in the national top grade of grassland – in fact it’s SSSI standard (Site of Special Scientific Interest). However it won’t be officially declared as an SSSI because that’s only done if a site is at risk, which Wapley certainly isn’t. One species that was recorded officially for the first time is the Bee Orchid (though we’ve seen it occasionally in previous years)

Several people have asked why the Lower Meadow has been cut earlier than usual. The answer is that we’re trying to stop the spread of meadowsweet and other invasive plants, and the new cutting date is based on advice from experts. It’s a compromise – some of the species we want to keep have only partly set seed, but we want to avoid them being strangled by meadowsweet and the like. Every third year we plan to have a second cut in September. The Upper Meadow will be cut later this month.

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