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Reversing the decline in flower-rich meadows

Since the 1930s, important flower-rich meadows have declined by 97%. Restoring and conserving these beautiful habitats is important as they are vital for as pollinators and seed-eating birds.

Rusland Horizons and Cumbria Wildlife Trust are working together to introduce missing species to the meadowland at Abbots Reading Farm – volunteers are needed on Tuesday 4 September to help plant the thousands of plug plants that are need to bring this area back to being a stunning flower-rich meadow.

Before the use of machinery became common in farming, all hay meadows were cut using a scythe which has a number of wildlife benefits. Generally, one person would cut about an acre of meadow in a day meaning a whole meadow would be cut over an extended period of time. This enable animals to move out of the way of the cutting and different plants to flower and set seed, providing food for insects over a longer period.

As part of the Rusland Horizons Meadows project Cumbria Wildlife Trust are also promoting the art of silent grass cutting using an Austrian Scythe. These one day courses (17 Aug and 2 Sept) cover the correct set up and maintenance of a scythe as well as practical scything. Booking is via Cumbria Wildlife Trust on 01539 816300 or [email protected].

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