A NEW take on the saying “make hay while the sun shines” has been in action at Charlecote Park.
Work has taken place at the National Trust property near Stratford to help restore an area of the parkland to a species-rich grassland and wildlife habitat.
It is hoped the project will improve biodiversity in the area – helping to attract more pollinators, butterflies and moths – and has involved reseeding an area of the parkland using the technique of spreading green hay.
Charlecote Park has been working with its sister property Packwood House on the project.
Simon Barker, National Trust Nature Conservation Adviser, said: “Species-rich green hay has been harvested at Packwood House, the donor site, and spread in the parkland at Charlecote Park, the recipient site, to help restore an area with grasses and wildflowers.
“The two sites are very close to each other which is perfect for this method of conservation work, as the green hay needs to be cut and spread on the same day.
“Spreading the hay while it’s still green, allows the seeds from the grasses and wildflowers to mature and drop naturally at Charlecote Park. The seeds are very fresh which increases their chances of germination, and the hay often contains a wider range of species than those available in commercial settings”.
Simon added: “As this space grows into a species-rich grassland over the next few years, we’re excited to see the diverse range of habitats and wildlife it will go on to support.”
The green hay has been spread in the sanctuary space at Charlecote Park, an area of the parkland that sits on the floodplain of the River Avon and is not accessible to the public, but is carefully managed by the National Trust rangers as part of the charity’s wider conservation and environmental goals.
All of the work has been in partnership with Severn Trent who have helped to fund the conservation work.
The National Trust has set out ambitious plans to help reverse the decline of wildlife on the land in its care. The conservation charity has committed to creating 25,000 hectares of new wildlife habitats by 2025 – the equivalent of more than 33,000 Premier League football pitches.