Sowing The Seeds

Thursday, April 4th 2019

Managing a small patch of heathland is not without problems. In order to encourage new growth the Heather needs to be knocked back somehow. On a large moor this is achieved by burning. This method is effective as a fire sweeps across the area and the flames are not too intense. In a confined space however, this is not possible and the fire would be too hot. Several methods have been attempted over previous years to manage the Heather at Foxglove and despite all our best efforts there remain many grassy gaps! It was decided to try rotovating these bare patches and then to plant Heather seed on them in order to grow new Heather shoots.

James Coxon and Brothers found the ideal machinery to turn over just the surface of the soil to prepare the ground for planting. This was an interesting task in itself given the uneven terrain and drainage ditches.

Next, the area was raked over to make the surface as even as possible to prevent the seed from getting washed away by any rainfall.

Heather seed is extremely fine and is harvested by specialist machinery making it very expensive. With this in mind Team Thursday wanted to minimise wastage.

As usual, Ian came up trumps with his farming experience and nipped off to borrow a 'fiddle drill'!

Any visitors were forgiven for thinking that they had travelled back in time as Ian stepped out of the field centre with this seemingly ancient piece of farming equipment! It may look old fashioned but once filled it proved to be an efficient way of spreading the tiny seeds.

It was quite good fun and after a little training everyone took a turn.

There was a fine art in making sure that the breeze carried the seed away from the “fiddler's” face! 

 

In no time at all, two of the main paddocks were seeded.

 

 

With only one fiddle drill, another technique was to sow the seed by hand. So with raking, fiddling and sowing everyone was kept busy!

Volunteers also helped with the final tidying of the coppice block (honest!) and moving off cuts of timber and brash from the lake area where Trevor and Darrel continued with vital bridge repairs. 

Another productive day and a fun one too, thank you to all involved.


(0) Comments:

There are no comments for this blog post yet. Why not start the discussion? - use the form below:


Leave a Comment:

Please complete this field, it's required. Your email address will not be displayed but it's required.

Your email address will not be displayed but it's required.

Remember my personal information

Notify me of follow-up comments?


Back to Top

Help Support Foxglove

Friends of Foxglove

The Friends of Foxglove Covert is for those individuals, families and organisations who would like to support the reserve through an annual membership subscription. Friends receive a regular newsletter and invitations to attend our various activities and social events.

More Details

Upcoming Events


Moth Morning

Wednesday 3rd July 2019 | 09.00- 11.00

Join our team of volunteers in recording and identifying all the moths found in the moth trap the night before., as well as any found around the reserve. Bring a camera if you would like to photograph the moths before being released.

A minimum donation of £5 per person in advance to guarantee a place. Card payments can be taken by phone.



Meadow Mayhem

Sunday 7th July 2019 | 10.00- 12.00

Join us for a morning exploring the many wildflower meadows found at Foxglove. We will be learning how to ID wildflowers and grasses, as well as sweep netting for butterflies and insects and identifying them.

A minimum donation of £5 per person in advance to guarantee a place. Card payments can be taken by phone.



VIEW ALL EVENTS

Undergrowth Newsletter


Undergrowth Newsletter Winter to Spring 2019
{alt}

Read all about what has been happening on the reserve over the winter months.

Read this Issue


Undergrowth Newsletter Autumn 2018
{alt}

A busy summer at Foxglove. Read about bird ringing near and far and lots of species.

Read this Issue


Undergrowth Newsletter Spring 2018
{alt}

An update on recent events and projects on the reserve and more.

Read this Issue


View All The Newsletters

Recent Blog Posts

Blog Archive