During late August and early September we reseeded just over 60 acres of the grassland we use for mowing. We used a mixture of various Ryegrasses, Timothy, Cocksfoot and about 10% white clover in Eight Gates and Netcombe Cottage. A different mixture of various Ryegrasses with 25% red clover was used on Top Barn, Top strip, Lambing Field, and the accessible part of Syndercombe Wood.
We purchased a specialist machine intended for freshening up grassland called an HE-VA Rejuvinator, which is a single pass implement with shatter board slicing plates, two rows of heavy duty harrow tines, an air blown grass seeder and a prismatic roller. The slicing plates and harrow tines break up and level the soil surface in front of the grass seed outlets and the soil is then firmed behind by the prismatic roller. The grass seed is blown in behind the shatter boards.
Jack Heywood provided the expertise and did the work for us. Our old John Deere wasn’t up to it, basically because it became a two wheeler with the Rejuvenator hitched. We were lucky with the weather, with some nice sunshine, interspersed with plenty of rain to support germination.
We are looking forward to seeing what difference we have made in the Spring, with hopefully stronger yields and better quality haylage as a result next Summer.
We have also applied for organic conversion, and are awaiting the results of our application. Our application includes various activities under the Countryside Stewardship scheme, including coppicing, hedgerow work and taking small areas out of production, mostly on awkward slopes where tractor work is dangerous or borderline suicidal! None of the above activity will affect visitors to our holiday cottages, and is all in line with our efforts to do our bit for the environment.