Each year the grass is cut after the campsite closes and the plants have had time to set seed. The meadow environment then comes alive again in the spring and the grass reaches its full height by the end of June. Each year is different depending upon weather conditions. We never quite know how it is going to look and which plants and wildlife are going to thrive this year.
Sheep are run on the meadow between autumn and late spring so that the grass can be grazed rather than cut. This helps us to control the dominant grasses in the meadow environment and allow room for the wild flowers to thrive.
Since opening the campsite we have carried out the annual cut the meadow later than usual, at the beginning of the autumn rather than mid July. Normally the lush grass topped in July would act as fertiliser on the meadow keeping the grass species dominant and the soil rich. Now that this isn’t happening there is more room for wild flowers to thrive and we want to encourage this. In 2022 we will be overseeing the grass meadow with a mix of native wildflowers. This means opening the camspite slightly later than normal and also closing slightly earlier so that we can keep the grass topped and give the flowers a chance. The meadow grass will therefore look a lot shorter in 2022 but it will do the meadow a world of good!
Our actions for improving the diversity of wildlife on the meadow
- Dead hedges and native hedges as boundary fencing to create habitat
- Bug and snake hotels to give smaller insects and mammals a winter home
- Pitches and paths cut into the grass leaving a large area of meadow undisturbed
- Minimal lighting at night
- Overseeding of wild flowers across the meadow
- Planting of native trees in corner areas of the meadow
- Minimal trimming of hedges after young birds have left nests in later summer
- Records of wildlife sightings on the meadow so that we can compare one year to the next
- Plant species recorded by Suffolk Wildlife Trust
- Conservation grazing with Shetland sheep
Wildlife to look out for on the meadow
Wild flower plants to look for on the meadow
Oxe eye daisy
Bird’s foot trefoil
Yorkshire fog grass
Sheep’s fescue grass