Jonathan Dent, Nature Reserve Manager reports on the first year of the project supported by a grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund.
The project aims to improve biodiversity of 15 sites across York and some quick wins were achieved already in the first year by:
ensuring all arisings are removed after cutting so nitrogen does not leach into the soil to enrich it
A range of training sessions to suit all skill levels were held which taught scything to 133 people across 48 sessions. Eleven people from project sites also took part in expert monitoring training held over 6 days during the summer. A range of simple monitoring techniques have been developed to be used in 2018 with the project groups.
14 full scythe kits were provided for project groups so far after appropriate training had taken place, and more equipment will be distributed in 2018. We will also be starting Champions training to help ensure sustainability of the project beyond the funding period and continue developing an easy-to-use training toolkit for each site with step by step guides to scything and grassland monitoring methods.
A range of community events took place to inspire and engage 314 people in the project. These included:
Looking ahead in 2018
We will continue to raise aware of the importance of grasslands and their associated species through a variety of of our own events as well as join with others, such as Bloom York, to get even more people on board. All public events will be tagged as Meadow Keepers on our Events page – amongst other things look out for us scything some of the city walls at a demonstration event in July!
If you would like to be involved, please contact Jonathan via firstname.lastname@example.org