Butterfly Snail Rush Large Butterfly

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Wildlife Friendly Grassland

Visitors approaching Milton Ferry Bridge from the south through Ferry Meadows may have noticed that a new fence has been erected around Short Meadow. 

In 2012, the Trust entered into a 10 year Environmental Stewardship agreement with Natural England for some of its tenanted agricultural land in the Park.

The Higher Level Stewardship scheme (HLS) provides funding to farmers and land managers in England in return for delivering environmental management on their land. There broad sweep of floodplain meadows In Ferry Meadows comprised of Heron, Short and Long Meadows have all been entered into the HLS scheme to help improve their value to wildlife.  Heron and Long Meadows have already been fenced and are grazed however, Short Meadow, until now hadn't been.

Wild Flowers

Short Meadow is probably the best species rich semi-natural grassland in Ferry Meadows and as such requires a specific management regime to maintain and enhance the diversity of wildflowers.

Short Meadow has been cut for hay for over 20 years and slowly over this time the variety of meadow flowers has increased.  However, without fencing, grazing wasn't possible. Grazing cattle have two benefits. They reduce course grass regrowth and their hooves poach the ground exposing bare soil. Both help the seeds of less competitive wildflowers to establish.

We do ask that visitors remember the Park Code and that dog walkers keep dogs from entering this field and worrying the cattle.