Planting Yellow Rattle
Driving past Frenchay Christmas Tree Farm in spring and early summer, you will no doubt spot our beautiful native hedgerow, which encircles all our fields. It is completely alive with hedge sparrows and they are singing very loudly at the moment! Along the grass verges, we have been busy cultivating our meadow grasses so that we create wildflower field margins. Last September, we sowed yellow rattle seed. It is a common meadow flower and if you have ever walked through a wildflower meadow in summer, you might have heard the tiny seeds of yellow-rattle in their pods – hence its name.
We are thrilled to find that these lovely yellow meadow flowers have now established themselves amongst the grass. Yellow rattle feeds off vigorous grasses, allowing more delicate wild-flower species to break through. So its presence is a great indicator that our field margins will slowly be able to return to a more naturalised meadow grass. We will now watch and see what species arrive next! You can find out more about yellow rattle on The Wildlife Trusts website.
Over the past few decades, Britain has been losing its meadows at an alarming rate. We believe that all farmers have a responsibility to create natural, biodiverse margins on their land so that birds, insects and mammals have the habitats they need to thrive. It is a privilege to be able to watch the return of greater biodiversity on this area of land. We will keep you posted with more developments over the summer!
The British Christmas Tree Growers have been conducting biodiversity studies at various Christmas tree farms in Britain. We are looking forward to hearing the results of this, which will be released later this year. To find out more about the BCTGA, visit their website