Focusing on ‘in-bye’ farmland within the Luddenden Valley, this 2-year project (a
Tenth Anniversary Award winner with Green Business Network) aims to increase the
diversity of grasslands around moorland edges by encouraging a return to hay meadow
management and re-introducing traditional species that may have been lost.
The Calderdale Biodiversity Action Plan set a target to restore 20ha of unimproved
grassland by 2010; work that the project could meet and, in so doing, have a positive
impact on the status of priority species such as Twite, Small Copper and Pink Waxcap.
Local ‘donor’ sites of high ecological value are matched by soil pH, altitude and
aspect with ‘receptor’ sites. Seed or green hay is then collected from the ‘donor’
and spread at the ‘receptor’ once its ground has been prepared.
In May 2007, several landowners who expressed an interest following the Project’s
launch at Jerusalem Farm in July 2006 saw their land—approximately 6 ha, ‘sown’ with
species harvested from a local ‘donor’ that summer.
Hand-sowing seed (photograph courtesy of Nick Carter)
Further soil sampling and site visits resulted in more sites—approximately 10ha,
being ‘sown’ during September 2007 with species harvested that summer.
All sites are now being monitored with a view to undertaking follow-up treatments,
as necessary, in the spring and I offer my grateful thanks to everyone involved for
their interest and enthusiasm in the Project.