At both Shelford and Chishill we have a number of areas of meadow, pollen and nectar mix and rough grass around trees.
We aim to have a balance between the grass, which is useful for cover and fed on by many caterpillars and having broad-leaved plants that have a high feeding value for pollinators.
To help the flowers get through what can be a thick mat of grass it is important to open the sward up.
This is where the unseasonal mowing fits in.
In an ideal year this would have been done going into the winter, but the important thing is it has been done before the plants start to regrow.
While it was tempting to mow the lot I think there is some merit in leaving a small area as this does provide cover which is important in keeping the remaining winter off small animal life.
When we come to cut the areas again, towards the end of 2013, I will propose to mow about half going into winter and the other half just before spring so not to unsettle the whole area at once.