Land Manager's Diary: Read it here>

Today has been session two of plug planting our hay meadows at High Borrowdale with some additional plants. Although we know all the seed for such upland meadows was put in when we restored them, some are rather reluctant to come through! So we have decided to add them by planting plug plants, to help add the diversity and colour and help the pollinators and insects a bit more.

Although the winter was not a particularly cold, harsh or wet one, it seems that the local wildflower nurseries have not had great success with the germination of a lot of the plants. We had hoped to plant pignut and meadow vetchling but the plants have not germinated so we will have to add them later in the year after hay timing.

Today we have been planting the tall and regal melancholy thistle and the roadside verge favourite wood cranesbill. The meadows are now shut up, ie no stock, to allow them to grow before cutting in late July or early August depending on the weather.

The cows will then come back in to eat off what is left and their hooves will open up the soil and allow the seed which dropped from the flowers to be treaded in and hopefully germinate next year. Our final day of planting will be during September. Fingers crossed for a  bit of rain and sun mixed for the rest of the week to help the new plants settle in. We will be keeping an eye on them during the next couple of months to see how they grow and maybe even flower.

If you fancy a trip down to the meadows to see their colour, aim for late June or early July. It is hard to be specific as it is very weather dependent but there is always something to see even if the flowers are not quite out!

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