Three Hagges Wood, the story so far ….

by Three Hagges Wood Meadow in Fauna (Animals), Flora (Plants), Grasses, Insects, Management, Meadows, Trees, Wildflowers 0

  Why exactly are we trying to create an ecosystem at Three Hagges Wood? The end of the year is always a time of review and preview for me.  And though I’ve always been a bit of deadline girl, so much has happened at Three Hagges Wood this year, I’ve been provoked to begin early if I’m to assimilate it all. When first we set out to create a Jubilee Wood, one of the simplest objectives was to avoid making a plantation with an understorey of brambles and nettles.  It was clear from the outset that careful management was key to this.  Then, like Topsy, objectives grew and grew, until eventually our ambitions encompassed the creation of an […]

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A Meadow, it’s just grass, right?

by Three Hagges Wood Meadow in Fauna (Animals), Flora (Plants), Grasses, Insects, Management, Meadows, Wildflowers 2

  No, actually, it absolutely is not just grass.  Such is my current obsession with meadows that I wake most mornings with lyrical words concerning them on my lips. The lyrics run like this.   “To be sure, a meadow is thing of beauty, joy and wonder”. And “our meadow this summer was all those things”. But it’s much, much more than that. So let’s clarify. What is a meadow? We’ re all familiar with Nigel Dunnett’s glorious Olympic Park meadows of 2012. Their beauty and romance captivated and lifted the spirits. They make an extraordinarily rich nectar source for bees and butterflies, are eminently suited to garden, urban and suburban environments and as a starting point for […]

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What about that yellow rattle?

by Three Hagges Wood Meadow in Community Events, Flora (Plants), Management, Meadows, Soil, Weed control, Wildflowers 2

Last autumn we had prepared our stale seedbed well in advance of the proposed sowing date for the meadow, the final deadline that we set ourselves being the 15th October 2012. We lived daily in hope that a damp, sun-warmed seedbed would be perfectly receptive for the precious and expensive seed mix. Hah! The heavens opened and the tap stayed on for weeks; the seedbed was then neither sun-warmed nor receptive.  It was inundated, stayed inundated all winter, and it was the beginning of May before conditions for sowing came good again.  The whole 10ha. of meadow germinated well, was glorious throughout summer, and most of us were thrilled by the shimmer of pollinators above the nurse crop […]

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Drinks in the Meadow Anyone?

by Three Hagges Wood Meadow in Birds, Community Events, Fauna (Animals), Flora (Plants), Grasses, Insects, Management, Meadows, Weed control, Wildflowers 0

  for months, we have been looking obsessively for noxious weeds and worrying whether any disastrous thing would happen to the meadow before it managed to flower, reassuring each other continuously that it would be alright on the night.  Despite having in my mind’s eye a hopeful and pretty picture of our meadow’s first year, I wasn’t fully prepared for the truly joyous spectacle of our meadow in full bloom.  It really has surpassed anything I could have imagined, and now we are breathless for all the best reasons. And a big part of this has been due to our guests’ reactions when we took Drinks in the Meadow on the 15th of August.  We have been […]

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Flushed with full colour

by Three Hagges Wood Meadow in Flora (Plants), Grasses, Management, Meadows, Weed control, Wildflowers 0

it is almost two months since we sowed the ground layer that will be a vital component in our vision of Three Hagges Jubilee Wood, and it’s a month since the appearance of the green haze that declared germination was underway.  We reckoned on a twelve week interval between sowing and flowering:  sowing during the third week in May 2013 should produce a dazzling panoply by the beginning of August, although flowers are budding up even as a I write.  The now obvious differentiation between all the seedlings caused heart-fluttering excitement – probably just as much as will the eventual blooming.  Whilst I feel slightly geeky about this, I was thrilled to identify individual species, and all of the […]

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Ready to Roll (and Rock) …

by Three Hagges Wood Meadow in Flora (Plants), Grasses, Management, Meadows, Uncategorized, Weed control, Wildflowers 0

Finally … finally, by the 9th of May, conditions have improved to the extent that Nick Leaf has been able to drill the base layer of grassland seed for Three Hagges Jubilee Wood.  Not without trauma, however.     We first created our stale seed last autumn, in the hope of grabbing the first opportunity to sow our two grassland mixtures into moist and summer-warmed soil.  The main principle of the technique is to prepare a fine seedbed ready for drilling in the seed, then to await the germination of flocks of weed species that then are sprayed off before sowing. Then there must be absolutely minimal disturbance of the soil surface prior to sowing, in the expectation that any […]

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