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  • Writer's pictureGeoffrey Higgins

Habitat Conservation

hedgerow and field of buttercup representing habitat conservation

by Liam Latham, Matara's Master Gardener

Did you know that only 3% of Cotswold Meadows remain today compared to 1930 and many of its plants are threatened due to habitat loss! By restoring meadows like we are here at Matara the diversity starts to return and each year we continue to restore the richer they become. 

The fields at Matara were once grazing for horses and sheep until the land was bought almost thirty years ago. Since then thousands of trees have been planted and more recently a meadow regeneration plan implemented. This involves topping and bailing, which means at the end of summer after the seed has fallen the hay is cut and bailed. Removing the grass rather than letting it decompose keeps the nutrients from building up in the soil adding fuel to more dominant species that swamp out the native plants that have adapted to the low nutrient soil. We have also boosted the diversity by adding in extra seed from some local wildflower meadow projects like Durham House. 


Already we are noticing the difference it's making, we see more birds of prey attracted by small mammals which are in turn attracted by the shelter, seeds, and insects. This year we even saw some grass orchids, which is a really good sign. 


We would encourage anyone to do the same even if you have a small space just a few native flowers make a huge difference to pollinators seeking nectar. The best time to see our meadows is May and June, please come and see for yourself. 

We can all contribute to habitat conservation.

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