Making hay while the sun shone

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Hay Day 2022

Another successful ‘Community Hay-Day’

Villagers and volunteers from elsewhere joined a popular ‘Community Hay-Day’ on Sunday 4th September, bringing rakes and wheelbarrows to improve conditions for wildflowers on the village recreation ground.

For the last couple of years, swathes of grass around the edges have been allowed to grow long – with appreciation from villagers and wildlife.

But, as experts have advised, the grass has to be cut at least once a year or else it forms a thick thatch and wildflowers can’t survive.

And then all the cuttings have to be removed to reduce soil fertility which is the key to helping more wildflowers in the future.

The raking action during the Hay-Day also helps to open up the grasses and give more wildflowers a chance to get established.

All the hard work was completed in about two hours and was followed by well-earned refreshments provided by the Five Bells.

The Parish Council’s nature and wildlife projects have been selected as part of the South Downs National Park Trust’s ‘Bee-Lines’ and ‘Re-Naturing’ initiatives as well as being a Pollinator Pilot area for Hampshire County Council’s Countryside Service.

As well as improving conditions for wildlife by connecting green spaces and creating corridors to help creatures, the work is intended to increase awareness and understanding amongst residents.

More families in the parish are now helping wildlife in their gardens and there are also contributions from local farms, in local Nature Reserves and hopefully along road verges in the future, too.

Many small creatures are vital for crops and food production but they have been declining badly in recent decades. These projects are intended to help people appreciate the wider benefits that managing land for biodiversity can bring for everyone: helping nature to help us!