Land Manager's Diary: Read it here>

The old adage ‘many hands make light work’ was certainly true on Monday for our first ever hay meadow plug planting day at High Borrowdale. 17 years after we re-created our first meadow, and 9 after the second, we decided to add a bit more diversity and colour by plug planting the species that have been slow to germinate and grow.

For this session of planting these included Wood Cranesbill, Greater Burnet and Common Knapweed. 18 volunteers turned out to help us and 120 hours worth of effort later we had planted 2500 small plants. It was a bit of a shock to see so many trays of tiny plants, some of them looking more dead than alive, but we are confident that with the start of the growing season upon us, they will soon grow and thrive at High Borrowdale. The task itself is delightfully simple, planting 5 or 6 plants in a clock pattern randomly across the fields.

We divided the field into units so that we could ensure the right number of plants were spread across the meadows and then set off. Despite ferocious winds and heavy rain in the afternoon all the plants are now in their new home and whilst we did not welcome the rain, it was just the thing the plants needed to help them settle in!

Although we could not really see the results of our work as the plants were so small, the empty seed trays were satisfying and we can now look forward to more colour, and a healthier and more diverse habitat for our pollinators and insects. Interestingly meadow plants are also good at reducing and slowing the slow of surface water as they have longer roots which absorb more water and their rougher texture slow the flow of water.

Thanks again to the Lake District National Park’s Farming in Protected Landscape Scheme funding, and the generosity of our members and supporters who donated money to our land appeal last year. If you fancy helping out at the next plug planting day, keep an eye out for dates in May on our website

Next month we return to High Borrowdale to finish the tree planting. For more info and to book see our workparty pages.