Visit to the National Botanic Garden of Wales to see results of Green Hay Experiment

On 27th June (sorry this report is so late) some members of the meadows group went to the NBGW at the kind invitation of Bruce Langridge (Head of Interpretation at the Garden) to see the results of what was done in 2016 to spread some green hay onto two receptor fields that were fairly uninteresting botanically.  The green hay method has been used with great success at other sites – see this article by Plantlife:

www.magnificentmeadows.org.uk/assets/pdfs/Restoration_using_green_hay.pdf

The technique involves collecting hay that has been freshly cut from a species-rich site, and transporting it to a receptor site which is species-poor and spreading it around.  The two sites need to be fairly close together because it has to be done quickly or the hay will heat up and kill the seeds.

Many readers will have been round the Waun Las National Nature Reserve at the NBGW and seen the wildflower meadows there.  Two of those fields were the donor sites: Cae Trawscoed and Cae Tegeirianau (all the fields in the Waun Las reserve have names, and the names are on signs on the gates (https://botanicgarden.wales/naming-our-fields/).  The receptor sites were two pasture fields, Cae Derwen and Cae Waun, and to get to them we passed through another pasture field similar to the two receptor fields before the green hay transfer was done.

The difference between the pasture and the two receptor fields now, only 3 years since the green hay was spread there, was astonishing.  For more details about what has appeared there and how it was done, you can do no better than to look at Bruce’s own blog on the NBGW website which also contains some photos of our visit there:

https://botanicgarden.wales/green-hay-experiment-a-spectacular-success/

We’d like to thank Bruce for arranging this visit, it was a highly inspiring day.  We are looking into planning an arrangement where in future it might be possible for people who would like to import some of the Waun Las floral diversity to a suitably prepared site of their own (nearby enough for the hay not to heat up too much) to collect a sackful of freshly cut hay from the garden very soon after it’s been cut.  This will take a lot of planning and forethought, but watch this space……

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s