Alex Cripps – Conservation Graduate Trainee
The mini meadow conservation site in the churchyard of St Mary and St Laurence in Rosedale Abbey (established in 2011 through the LEADER Small Scale Enhancements Scheme) is full of wild flowers, including beautiful pockets of yellow rattle and carpets of bush vetch and stitchwort. There is a great variety of grass species too. All these species are attracting insects including bees, butterflies and moths which in turn support many birds. The mini meadow is also providing a home to small mammals and slow worms.
A couple of Fridays ago was our annual Rosedale Community Churchyard Task and it was a busy but great day! This is the third year we have run the task and thank you to all our enthusiastic Community Volunteers and our own National Park Conservation Volunteers who worked so hard.
A few days before the task the National Park’s Southern Apprentice Team had kindly strimmed the area and so we spent the Friday carefully hand cutting around the headstones and raking off all the old grass. It was a surprise how much old vegetation we cleared! Meadows benefit from being cut after everything has set seed and from the old vegetation being removed so it does not build up and prevent new seeds from growing.
It was a beautiful hot and sunny day and after a well-deserved lunch break the final grass was raked up and cleared from the site. We removed some of the large dense tussocks of grass to create a few bare patches of ground, which provide excellent areas for new seeds to become established. We then took handfuls of locally collected seed and scattered it over the site to encourage more new plants to grow.
Thank you again to everyone who helped and a big thank you to Anthea Read, Church Warden, who provided us with much appreciated tea and cakes!
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If you want to see the volunteers ‘in action’ – click here. If you’re inspired to get involved with the mini meadow in Rosedale Churchyard yourself, help is always welcome and it is a great opportunity to get together as a community. Look out for information on the Rosedale Community Churchyard Task next year.
And if you want to create your own mini meadow – keep following our blog.