Hauxley: Car park meadow

N marsh orchid
Northern Marsh orchid

This small meadow is on shallow soils that were left following the completion of opencast working on the site.  These poor soils are not ideal for grasses and thus a number of wildflowers thrive here.  The flowers help attract a range of insects such as small and large skipper butterflies as well as a range of hoverflies and bees.

The meadow is cut in the autumn after the seeds have set and most of the flowers have finished.  This means it is cut later than most meadows used for hay but it prolongs the value to wildlife through most of the summer season.

small skipper
Small skipper butterfly

The meadow is grazed for a short time following cutting, this helps trample seeds into the soil and the remaining plant growth is grazed back.

Look out also for red squirrels on the feeders at the back of the meadow.

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