Celebrating flower rich grassland: integrating wood pasture and wood meadow with farming

We had a full house at the fifth and final event in our 2022 Meadows, Mosaics and Mitigating Climate Change series hosted by Nick and Nicci Lloyd at Fernhall Farm. It was fantastic to have been able to have Dan Carne, UK Director of the Woodmeadow Trust, as our guest speaker for the event. Dan kicked off proceedings by giving a fascinating talk outlining the what and why of woodmeadows. What defines them and also why they are such a fantastic ecological resource. He also touched briefly upon how to go about establishing wood meadows and wood pasture within a farm system. Dan’s slides area available as a pdf.

This included a discussion of the funding streams currently available which are summarised here. Funding

We then went on a farm walk to see some of the practical steps that are being taken by Nick and Nicci to increase the biodiversity on their farm. An overview plan can be seen her Fernhall walk 15_9_22

Contributions came from Bob Silverwood of Natural England along with representatives of the National Trust including Alice Keenan, Simon Barker and Anna Watts. Bob Silverwood gave a comprehensive overview of the Countryside Stewardship options currently available and being used in the farm plan a summary of these can be found here CS Wood Pasture options

One particular topic of conversation was how best to guard young trees from livestock. Jonny Pugh from the Wye and Usk Foundation described the new cactus guard system they are using on another farm nearby and how this is proving to be an effective way to deter cattle from grazing young trees.


Cactus tree guards. (courtesy of Rich Thomas)        NIck Lloyd discussing plans for Fernhall with the group

For anyone who already has a woodmeadow or is trying to create one the Woodmeadow Trust would love to hear about it and add it to their national network database https://www.woodmeadowtrust.org.uk/network.

Dan Carne’s summary slides on Wooded Grasslands are available to view as a pdf