The annual task of cutting the grasslands and taking off all the cut material has been going for 6 weeks so far, with a few more to go. This exercise is vital to protect and enhance the growth of wild flowers and grasses for the multitude of species that depend on them, This in turn also provides sustenance for the lower end of the food chain!
The tree growth in the reserve is virtually all self sown, from the time that the Great Central Railway closed. Left alone, the habitat would ultimately just be tall and often spindly trees, with very little else. To create some variation in height, we are currently pushing over some of the thinner trees, by first partially cutting into the base. The tree remains alive and will push up new lower growth from its laid trunk. This will provide a lower level dense coverage that is preferred by the small bird community. It also has the benefit of letting more light onto the grassland.
The pictures give an indication of what is going on and also just shows the beauty of the reserve in this autumn season.