We are very grateful to Phil Armshaw from the Crystal House Hotel who kindly demonstrated how to cut and hand-bale hay this weekend. There was plenty for our team of volunteers to learn and do! We were particularly impressed with Phil's home-made baling machine, which produced some perfect bales.
By cutting areas of our meadow in the late summer we will maximise the number of flowering plants that can compete with the grasses. This in turn leads to more pollinators and a beautiful display of colour throughout spring and summer. We are leaving some areas of long grass for foraging frogs, newts and other animals but aim to rotate the areas we cut each year.
Ideally we would have let the cut grass dry a few days to make dry bales for winter animal feed, however, this is very difficult to time and coordinate for volunteers. We'll still get all the nature benefits though.