Updates on the sites

29th September 2014
Stooks520
The harvest is done and the meadows are now shorn! They look a bit sad now but are of course doing what they need to do before coming back into full growth again next Spring and Summer. The odd poppy is still popping up though, which is rather nice!

Now is the time for us to reseed the bare patches on the CPP and Fox Inn sites. we will use the seed we collected in August/September, as well as some additional new seed (using the same supply of ‘Minster Mix’ as before). We will keep the poppy seeds back til next Spring and plant them then.

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We have plans for the big piece of grass behind the Fox Inn. The circles didn’t do very well and so we will reseed them in the Spring (after the wet weather has passed – the site tends to collect standing water and so any sowing now would run the risk of the seed just rotting before they can germinate). In the Spring we’ll reseed with a slightly different mix, which includes wet-tolerant plants.
We are in discussion with York City Council too to see if we can take over the whole site to allow the existing meadow plants to regrow. (The grass gets cut regularly by the council so all we need them to do is to stop cutting it and allow the sward to grow naturally. There are a lot of plants already in that area that would provide food for pollinators).

In the meantime, we have found a possible scythe teacher for next year! That’s a bit exciting.
Also, we’re talking to a local craftsman about creating some noticeboards for the sites too so that we can keep everyone (who’s not on social media or email) abreast of what is happening and what events are going on. That’s pretty exciting too!

 

2 July 2014
You may have noticed that although the CPP site and the small patch beside the Fox Inn are doing well, the circles behind the Fox are not doing as well.  That area was, we knew, going to be a bit of a ‘challenge’ in that it’s heavy clay soil and has a high water table, so gets water-logged after heavy rain. We decided to try seeding it (like the other sites) and seeing what happened, in the knowledge that the conditions weren’t ideal. Well, very little has germinated, so we are moving to Plan B which is to leave the circles as they are ’til September and then replant with plugs (which will include wetland plants). We have asked YCC if they can refrain from mowing the rest of the area too because there are already a number of wildflowers (birdsfoot trefoil and red clover in particular) on the site and if they are left to grow, they would benefit fauna too (We asked already but the message hasn’t got through so we’re trying again!)

Should we attempt to ‘treat’ the soil to make it easier to work with (introduce drainage, for example)? Well, it is one approach but (on advice) we think we should work with the soil that’s there and adapt the planting accordingly, not least because introducing drainage would be very expensive on a site that size. So, there’s lots to do yet (not least a clear up of the bird-scarers and some rubbish which we are planning to do soon). We’re sad that it hasn’t grown well but we but we hope that with a bit more tlc, the area can flourish