Field Survey 18th July 2020
The Field was flush with new flowers today, lots of second bursts from Bugle, Eyebright and Tall Buttercup but new large sections of a purple Vetch and Birdsfoot Trefoil. I was really surprised by the amount of showy flowers today. Last week I thought the flowering season was going, even as early in the calendar as it was, however it was warm and damp with lots of sun that week and lo… many plants made one last display of colour.
The outstanding flowers were the Red Clovers and the Purple Vetch. The Red clovers made a first appearance last time and this week were in full cry across the field. I am so pleased with this self selected clover, the sheeps will love it when they get into the field. The Vetch is widespread in the sward, its grasping pea like tendrils have been observable for months with no flowers, suddenly it’s everywhere!
The Lesser Butterfly Orchid has vanished, setting its spores and unlike seeds it can be cut or grazed immediately without compromising its spread. The Grasses and most flowering plants have set their seeds and are ready for the next stage of management, whether grazing or cutting. In the future I will cut and bale this as best as I can, but this year I will send in the sheeps. I need the sward height chomped and the sheeps and lambs need a really good feed just before the Lambs get weaned and the store Lambs go to the August Sale.
The season is clearly changing, it might be mid-July but it feels like early Autumn. The vegetation in the field is now waist high in spots and now is too high for much new late summer plants to come through. The next stage of this field management should be to take a crop of hay, however there’s a problem. This field is steep and has several hidden rocks and depressions which make it dangerous for machinery. Access is also terrible. Finally its been very wet recently and the park is soft in places, I judge it too dangerous to cut as is, so grazing time