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An Amazing Field

An amazing field

There is much going on in the way of preserving meadows before they are lost forever. When there was over production and concern about the loss of environment the farmers were given a subsidy to set aside parts of their land for wild life. A strip of farmland along the edge of Jarvis' Dell at the foot of Dunster Copse was left unploughed and unplanted.


A minor miracle occurred.  


I have no idea how long it had been since this land had been left wild and uncultivated but a rough, weedy neglected strip of land turned into a constantly changing abundance of flowering grasses and wild flowers.


These attracted bees, moths and butterflies and provided cover for small mammals such as voles and also a hunting ground for owls and bats.


The whole strip came alive. One evening we tracked an owl as it swooped along the tree line hunting. It comes along most evenings now.


I regretted not realising sooner what was happening until each flowering had passed its season. At one time it was a carpet of golden Dandelions which matured into a pale fluff then it was knee deep with yellow meadow Buttercups. A great variety of flora, red Clover in the grass with white Clover later.


The grasses in infinite variety followed, bright green, pale mauve, tall, short, compact or loose.


I picked five different grasses in a few yards, a wild barley, wild oats, Cockscomb, Soft Meadow and Fescue. When I tried to name them more specifically I found that grasses even in such a small plot have an infinite variety and abandoned that project.


The strip was cut in two phases and will have made very sweet hay.

Bracken and Bluebells grow on the edge of the field and the wood. Specific Dandelions, Shepherd's Purse and Mayweed grow on the dry trodden right of way across the field of Rape.