Winter Management workshop at Barns Farm

On 27th February Meadows Adviser, Rory Johnson, headed up into Shropshire to deliver a workshop on winter management practices for recently restored swards to a group of farmers and farm advisers at Barns Farm. The event was delivered in collaboration with Buglife who carried out extensive grassland restoration works at this recently acquired National Trust property last autumn as part of their ‘Get the Marches Buzzing’ project. Lots of interesting discussion on grazing approaches and the challenges posed by such a warm and wet winter.

The key message to take away was to take the seedling’s eye view – keeping that sward short and open as we head into spring is optimal, whilst also avoiding poaching the ground.

Once the Yellow rattle seedlings start emerging then it is time to take the grazing off (especially in those establishing years after the restoration/creation has taken place). Yellow rattle is an annual so if it is grazed out then that will remove it from a site. Germination times are becoming earlier and earlier which will affect grazing calendars.

To find out more about the National Trust’s work at Barns Farm through the Stepping Stones project click here.