Last year was not a great one for haymaking….
This year has been so good so far – and so the plunge was taken today and the first half field has been cut. The seed heads of the rattle were ready to drop (certainly in this part of the field) and the rest of the flowers are perennials……
We will get this lot off by the end of the weekend and then eye up the next lot. The buzzards came over looking for pickings but there weren’t many as its a slow cutting process on a small scale with less collateral damage.
The other half of this field can wait for a bit – as I have found knapweed there for the first time (which seems to have hopped over from our next field). We will continue to cut small areas strip by strip – leaving anything where the rattle isn’t ready or where there are specific plants that must seed until later. The areas that are newly recovered from bracken will not be cut this year at all – there is a very low sward height and the signs are that it will be a good home for orchids. The ponies can graze those areas in the autumn, doing their job at the same time of spreading rattle seed about with their hooves.