This morning we strimmed around 12 fruit trees and weeded within protective fencing, at Puttenham's Hog's-back Orchard. We found Dogwood and other woody plants colonising extensive areas of the meadow to the detriment of chalk grassland species, as shown in the photos below
In order to control these woody plants, chalk grassland and other unimproved meadows need to either be grazed during spring and autumn periods or cut biannually in early spring and late summer. By cutting or grazing during the growing season this removes the woody biomass, that can otherwise persist in meadows, if cut outside the growing season.
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Gareth is an ecologist interested in conserving traditional orchards and heritage fruit, for people and wildlife.