Bodgers and Baling
Monday, September 19th 2016
The weekend was dominated by Meadow Pipit ringing, and also the late cut of the wild flower meadow. The meadow needs to be cut once a year, and preferably earlier than mid-September.
Sometimes when our farmer friends are in the middle of their own work we have to delay a cut to fit in with them, or wet weather holds us back. The reason we cut and do not leave the sward ‘as is’, is to encourage the various wild flowers to grow next year. If we left the grass long we would lose a lot of the varieties and have choked grasses of limited stature. By cutting we are mimicking the grazing of animals, and encouraging diversity of species on the pasture.
The large bales this year will be taken away and used as stock feed in the form of silage. If it had been cut before the damp September mornings the bales could have been used as hay, but alas the temperature has dropped, and dampness has increased as the year rolls on toward autumn. Also, as this is to be used as silage the turn-a-round from cut to baling is a lot shorter as moisture content is not so important with silage, but hay needs turning and dampless days for quality hay.
Today the baler arrived, leaving deposit of 18 large round bales ready to be carted away later this evening.
Just after the baler had gone we set about tidying up the headlands with the strimmers, ready to be cleared tomorrow with our volunteers.
As I said before the bales are to be made into silage which means the bales are wrapped in black plastic to seal in the grasses plus other herbage. Then due to natural bacterial action the grasses, etc. are pickled and preserved for stock, such as cows, to consume during winter.
We also had the Foxglove Covert Bodgers on site yesterday, these traditional wood workers demonstrate to visitors their various skills. They will be present on site every third Sunday of the month. Next month they will be set up near the Field Centre for members of the public to 'have-a-go', as well as demonstrating with use of a mobile forge, knife making.
Thank you to Ian who did a splendid job with the silage baling/cutting.
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