Rotherfield Reserve annual hay cutting

UPDATE WINTER 2016 – 17 – The Rotherfield Reserve grassland was fenced in October 2016 and lightly grazed by cattle and sheep for the first time before the winter set in, courtesy of our neighbouring farmer Louise Hendrick. This followed a successful application to LUND for a fencing grant that will allow us to have the meadow grazed in the traditional manner each autumn, thus saving our volunteers the hard work of annual mowing and raking. None of us are getting any younger! The grazing should also build on the excellent work carried out by our willing volunteers every October without fail for many years, by enabling even more wildflowers to establish over time from dropped seed.

The reserve remains open to members and their friends. Please be aware that a few small cattle (Dexters) or sheep may be present in the meadow areas any time from mid-June to late November (usually autumn only). Therefore when entering or leaving  via the new pedestrian gate please close the gate behind you. The circular footpath through the wood also remains open with two new styles installed where the fence crosses the path.

Ralph Hobbs


This year’s annual meadow cut and rake at the Rotherfield Reserve will take place on Sunday 18th October 2015 from 10am til 3-ish, and we still need as many volunteers as possible please – many hands make light work!

Now that Barry Hawkins has retired as reserve manager the mowing will be carried out by Leigh Richardson who has helped us with the raking in the past. Leigh is suitably skilled in countryside management for conservation, and is planning to make a start before 10. This year we will be happy if we only manage to cut up to about 70% of the total area, so we will be concentrating on the places where the grass grows lushest and supports fewer flowers.

The annual hay cut is one of our most enjoyable social events of the year, usually with plenty of wildlife to be seen on the day! Everyone is welcome – members, friends, and family etc so please do consider joining us on the day, or even for part of the day. The main activity is to follow the mower and rake the grass off to one side, with everyone working at their own pace! Grass rakes and hay forks are provided, but please bring your own picnic lunch and drinks! Lunch break is about one o’ clock and we will also take coffee and tea breaks as required.

For directions and a map please click on the Rotherfield Reserve link under ‘Our Reserves’.

We look forward to welcoming you on the day, meanwhile if you need any further information please don’t hesitate to call me on 07763 151787.

Ralph Hobbs


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