Category Archives: Cowslip meadow

Cowslip Meadow project – August 2017

Latest updates:

October 2017

Unfortunately The Borough have not had the grass cut yet and tell me they have a three year contract for cutting so we have to wait to try to change the regime. I hope it will get baled but i have my doubts

In the meantime we can continue to cut paths now it is dry at least for a bit

I am busy all this week but will try next week but if anyone can arrange to get the mower out it would be good
There is better news in the churchyard extension it has been cut and cleared of most of the grass
I have purchased some flower seed and plant plugs so we can go ahead and get these in some time soon
I hope to arrange a work aftenoon in the churchyard to scarify and plant plugs and seed

Chris

August 2017
The rubble has been removed so the entrance looks a lot better

We are getting another estimate for grass cutting.
I hope to meet on that this week but may have to go with the usual arrangement again this year
I will also once again get estimates for some fencing for behind the nettles and a wooden gate to the right of the metal gate.
We can then tidy the nettle bed
We could also have a seat put there perhaps in memory of Steven
Still trying to get the churchyard grass cut slow progress as it needs to be DRY

Chris

April 2017
There is a meeting in the meadow for all interested at 10am on Friday May 12th.

We will be discussing with The Borough how we can manage the meadow as a community group.
Cutting paths, interpretation, improving the entrance and managing the field as a hay meadow are amoung the items for what we hope will be a fairly light regime
A management plan has been written
We hope the local schools might be able to take an interest
We have already cleared much of the ragwort but there is more to do

Chris Jones

March 2017
The borough are happy to meet up to discuss the start of a Cowslip meadow project and to consider our plans

I think we should meet in the barn some time
Maybe a day and evening session and get it into the Mag and The blog so that we make an impact
We already have the new mower
The Borough will help us with much good advice
I will try to find a suitable date probably in the week of Monday May 12th @ 10 – 11 am

click for details:  Cowslip Meadow Management Plan 2017 v1

December 2016

the Cowslip Meadow is cut …

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18th October:
The grass in the cowslip meadow should be cut next week by Ray the farmer

This will include the churchyard extension grass
The PC have the money for the mower so i will go and order it this week
Then there will be training for the mower and strimmer to cover the PC insurance
The next thing is to tidy up the churchyard shed for putting the mower in–will let you know
Once Ray has cut the grass he should be along to bale it and we can discuss where they go with him!
Then I hope we can proceed with some ideas at a meeting.
We are on the Biddenham blog and the new web site when it goes live.
Best wishes, Chris

21st September:

Hello all – Sorry to have been quiet again

I think The Borough are about to get the meadow grass cut having been through their tendering process. I will phone/email them about it tomorrow
The PC hopefully are proceeding with buying the mower to use in the meadow.
When we have the mower I will call for vols and arrange training with The Borough
I have the list of plants in the meadow from David G.
We need then to look at ideas for a display panel in the entrance and an improved look to the gateway
Ron has put us on The Biddenham blog and we should be on the revised Biddenham Website via Joe Warren
The pond team are unlikely to want to extend their work into the meadow but i will ask informally at the next pond Committee meeting
Chris

7th September:

Hello all
The Parish Council are right behind our ideas for managing the cowslip meadow, I am pleased to say after the meeting tonight

Next step is to proceed to purchase the mower so we can be trained to use it and the strimmer by the Borough
I will also try to get the grass cutting by the contractor moved on apace
I will try to put a note together for the show on Sunday to give out
You will find me mostly on the pond stand.
Thank you for your support
Please pass this on and i will need to start compiling a supporters list
Chris

20th August:

A meeting was held with Bedford Borough staff in the field when a group of us met to plan the way ahead

The Borough who own the field are quite prepared for a community group to manage the field with wildlife objectives in mind but need clear plans from us

To that end a group of us have successfully removed much of the ragwort growth. If there is ragwort in a field there is no chance ever of moving the grass as a hay crop and thus helping to maintain biodiversity

The next stage is to meet with the borough volunteer officer to discuss how we could apply to set up a friends group.

To do that you will need to register your support so there should shortly be a page on the Biddenham village web site for you to do that with an email address

Look out for the date and time of a meeting in September when you can come along to ask questions or register your interest. Details will be posted on the Biddenham Blog the web site and in the notice boards

There are various models for Friends conservation groups which we can discuss at the meeting

The field is quite safe from housing development but without management input would probably revert to scrub then dense woodland in a few years thus reducing rather than enhancing biodiversity

Chris Jones

10th August 2016

Thanks to those who came to the field meeting.
We decided to try to remove ragwort from the Cowslip meadow and will assemble to make a start on this  Saturday the 13th at 2pm see how far we get. We have the backing of the Borough in this if we clear some parts at least in the future we can have a look at a cutting regime for parts of the site.

To keep paths clear it might be an idea to take up the offer of a Mower from John and Roger. This can be kept in the church shed I hope by agreement with the PCC and used elsewhere as can the strimmer training on each to be organized

We will set up another meeting with the Borough volunteers coordinator to discuss further where we go next. Meeting probably  in early Sept

We hope the grass will get cut again and baled but it is unlikely to be removed. The Borough will clear the entrance and put a barrier back

See some of you on Saturday
Please pass on, Chris

28th July 2016

 ragwort
Ragwort


Next Friday (5th August) I have a meeting with the Borough in the meadow at 10am please come if you can.
Thanks to those who came to help remove ragwort from the churchyard extension.  I am trying to arrange a conservation cut. To cut the cowslip meadow will entail removal of the barriers at the entrance as well as another ragwort session.
Please pass this on, Chris

19th July 2016

I have been trying to establish whose responsibility the field is at the Borough.  Until then we cannot go ragwort pulling or make any other plans. I have been on the phone again to Simon Fisher who seems to be in charge. The lack of communication is blamed on the river festival. I also want to get arrangements on the go to cut the grass in the meadow at some point. if we can remove the ragwort we might be more likely to get the grass/hay moved off

I have two quotes for a grass mower which i will pass on when we can arrange a meeting with the Borough
In the meantime we should practice by pulling the ragwort that has got into the churchyard extension. I am away until Monday and busy most of next week but suggest any volunteers meet at the new churchyard on Wed July 27th at 10am – it shouldn’t take long there isn’t much.
Thanks to all for your interest
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