Local Meadow Seed Available; Broad Leaved Helleborine; Marsh Speedwell; October Meeting at Myddfai.

Matt Sutton of Wyndrush Wild has contacted me this week, with the following information about some locally sourced meadow seed…SDIM8358 (2)

“I don’t know if any of your members / website readers would be interested in seed for restoration projects, but we have just harvested from a Camarthenshire site (Pen-y-Bryn near Lampeter, next to Cae Blaen Dyffryn). The mix is rich in yellow rattle and eyebright and would make an ideal starter meadow mix for an improved grassland or patch of bare ground.

We normally charge £35/kg + p&p, but would offer it to meadows group members for £30 /kg including p&p. 250g in an attractive hessian pouch (makes a nice present!) would be £12 including p&p.”

Any readers interested, please contact…

Matt Sutton & Vicky Swann

Wyndrush Wild / Matt Sutton Ecology

Jordanston Mountain

PO Box 60, Pembroke

SA71 5WY

Tel: 07870 515942 or 07905 505357

Web: www.wyndrushwild.co.uk

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Many thanks to Andrew Martin for the following, and great photos, about his meadow at Ffos Y Broga, Dryslwyn …

Thanks to Julian for that interesting article about medicinal value of meadow plants.  As he said, much of the botanical interest in our meadows is past its peak, but there is indeed still much to see.  A couple of weeks ago we discovered in our field our first example of a member of the family Orchidaceae!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

It’s a broad leaved helleborine, Epipactis helleborine.  Although not strictly speaking an orchid (it has leaves all the way up the stem not just in a basal rosette) we are still chuffed to find one there in only the third year of managing the field as a hay meadow.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

There are a few other individuals of this species on our smallholding, including two in the chicken run.  We assume it must taste foul, as the chickens tend to eat everything else apart from the soft rush of course.  Incidentally, meadow people might find this resource on the Biological Record Centre’s website very useful:

http://www.brc.ac.uk/plantatlas/

Under each species is a large amount of information derived from all the records of its occurence in the UK, so you can find its optimum habitat in lots of different categories (rainfall, light intensity, pH, salt tolerance etc), and what the value for that category is, on average, in all of the records.  These are not always the same thing – if you think about it you can see why. The poor plant has to get the best compromise of all its wants, and not just hold out for the optimum value in each category.  A good lesson for us all in life…

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(Early Purple orchids, Orchis mascula, at Eithinduon – Rachel Barber)

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 Advance notification of a planned meeting of the Meadows Group for the morning of Saturday October 8th, to take place at the lovely Visitor Centre at Myddfai. The morning will hopefully run from 10.00 am to 1 pm, and begin at 10.15 am with a talk by Sheikh Ahmed…IMG_7809 (Wild Angelica, Angelica sylvestris -Rachel Barber)

 

“The Physicians of Myddfai and their role in the development of Medicine today”.

It should last about 20-25 mins. The talk will cover the following topics: The Legend and the History of the Physicians of Myddfai with a description of some of the remedies they actually used; the use of modern culinary herbs as herbal remedies; some of the important  treatments that have been developed from the herbal tradition and their place in modern medicine today; and finally a description of how the Community Centre plays a big part in the life of the Myddfai community today.IMG_7820

Sheikh graduated as a Biochemist from the University of Manchester in the 60’s with further qualifications in Pharmacology; worked as a Research Biochemist in ICI (later Zeneca and AstraZeneca); moved over to Sales and Marketing for the same company; came to Wales to set up the world’s first major clinical trial of tamoxifen in Breast Cancer in Cardiff; set up further trials in Wales for my company in Prostate Cancer; worked on a number of cancer Advisory Committees for the Welsh Government; currently serve as a member of the Welsh Cancer Trials Network and sit as a board member on major clinical trials in lung cancer; finally in retirement, he now serves as a Director of the Myddfai Community Centre.IMG_7811

Other items will be added to the morning in due course, but this is a great chance to learn more about such a significant historical link in Carmarthenshire’s past with the use of medicinal plants, from a real local expert. So book the date in your diary now! And watch out for more information about the event in due course.

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Another ‘new’ plant has popped up in small numbers in the lower wet meadows at Gelli Uchaf, Rhydcymerau, in July this year, for the first time, which I’ve identified as Marsh Speedwell, Veronica scutellata. SDIM8430 (2)A quite distinctive small speedwell flower, but with definite orange/yellow tints to the narrow leaves which is what caught my eye, amongst the masses of other green foliage.SDIM8427 (2)

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Finally very many thanks to Rachel Barber for following up the leads after finding this website, and speedily providing information and photos (several of which illustrate this post) about her lovely meadows at Eithinduon, Llangynin…IMG_3787 Do have a look at these Meadow Gallery pages, and …

If you own or manage a meadow in Carmarthenshire which you would like to add to these gallery pages, please email Julian Wormald, the current website administrator, at

grumpyhobbit@gmail.com,

or click here to look at the page with the meadow gallery questionnaire.

Thanks for reading.

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