Ffos y Broga, Cwrt Henri, Dryslwyn.

Many thanks to Helen and Andrew Martin for providing the details and photos below of their meadows.

Meadow/Holding/Owner name and location:

Top field and Middle field!  Helen & Andrew Martin, Ffos y Broga, Cwrt Henri, Dryslwyn, Carmarthenshire, SA32 8SA

1: How would you describe your meadow, e.g. stand alone, part of a smallholding, part of a farm, managed lawn?

Part of a smallholding.IMG_6726

 2: How would you best describe your management of the meadow, and what are your priorities for the meadow e.g. commercial farm, hobby farmer/smallholder, purely managing the meadow on its own for its wildflowers/biodiversity?

Well, I guess we are hobby smallholders but we are trying to manage the meadow for its wildflowers and biodiversity – it’s one of the reasons we wanted to live on a smallholding.IMG_6810

3: Roughly how big is/are the meadow(s)?

The one we’ve already started restoring (where we sent in the photos of the haymaking) is about one acre, but next spring we will be starting to restore another neighbouring field to a wildflower meadow, also about one acre.IMG_6796

 4: Roughly how high above sea level?

About 75m.IMG_6729

5: How long have you been managing the meadow for wild flowers?

The first field two years, the second field  we’re just starting (sown a few weeks ago with yellow rattle seeds harvested less than 2 miles away).

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

6: Do you know when the meadow was last ploughed/reseeded?

 No.

7: Do you know when the meadow last received fertiliser or farm yard manure?

 No.  But judging by the waxcaps and other grassland fungi (photos attached) in the second field (they’re more numerous in there than in the first field) I don’t think it’s had any fertilizer, not recently anyway.IMG_7600IMG_7599IMG_7609IMG_7594IMG_7602IMG_7613

8: What do the field boundaries consist of, e.g. laid/regularly flailed hedges, banks with no hedges, fence only, mature hedges, mature trees?

 1st field is 2 mature hedges on banks, one is flailed from the other (neighbouring farm) side, 1 new fence, one mature treeline. 2nd field is 3 mature treelines and 1 mature hedge (flailed from the neighbour’s side) which we are hoping to lay starting this winter (it may take several winters).IMG_6755

9: Is the meadow ever grazed by stock, and if so by what, and roughly when?

 1st field is grazed by sheep, (after the haylage cut), intermittently till end of March. So will second field be from now on., Up till now 2nd field grazed by sheep all the time.  1st field was sheep grazed all the time until 2 years ago.

10: Is the meadow regularly cut, or burned and if so, when? And is the material removed and used as hay or bedding, or left on the field?

 1st field cut and removed for haylage for last 2 years.  2nd field will be cut and removed for haylage too, starting next year.IMG_6822

11: Has the meadow ever received any herbicide treatment, and if so, what, and when?

 As an experiment, we have tried weed wiping (with glyphosate) the soft rush which regrew in the wetter part of the field after this year’s hay cut and aftermath grazing, so there is a big height differential and you can weed wipe only the rush leaves (we did it manually with a hand tool). We only did it 3 weeks ago, and it’s just starting to look browny/yellowy poorly compared to the lush green rushes in a neighbouring field. Since the glyphosate isn’t in contact with anything other than the rushes we though it worth a try. Apart from that we aren’t aware of any herbicide treatment; the previous owner brushcut the rushes, and we used to mow them with a topper.  They don’t survive regular mowing well, but obviously that’s not an option for much of the year in a wildflower meadow.

12: Have you ever imported or scattered any flower seed or hay from other sources in the meadow?

 Yes, we have sown yellow rattle seed collected from a field belonging to Chris and Rosie Plummer at Lan Lash, which is a couple of miles away.  We sowed the first field 2 autumns running, and the second a couple of months ago.

13: Is the meadow flat, or sloping, and is it hillside/valley bottom?

 Flat/gently sloping, and is on the N side of the Tywi Valley.IMG_6803

14: Do you know roughly what the soil ph is?

 No, to our shame.  We should get our act together and do some sampling.

15: Have you ever had a botanical survey carried on the meadow, and if not would you be interested in having this done?

 No we haven’t, we are a bit concerned about the cost so thought we’d wait till some more stuff had recolonised. But it would be nice to monitor that process with time-lapse sampling, if we could afford it!

16: Would you be happy for your meadow, and the above data to feature in the Gallery section of the CMG website?

 Yes.

17: Would you be interested in help from a contractor in managing any aspect of meadow maintenance, and if so what help would be useful to you?

 Well we hope to continue to do it ourselves as it’s part of the fun.  

_______________________________

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

website@carmarthenshiremeadows.com

Thanks for reading.

Uploaded to the gallery in January 2016