#30DaysWild No. 25 Today’s action for nature is to learn from others – Ian is attending a workshop on managing soft rush at Rose Ash Farm, run by Cyril Cole.
Encroaching soft rush is one of the ongoing management challenges we face at Wheatland Farm, especially as climate change brings more wet winters. Soft rush thrives in wet ground, and once it has got beyond a certain size the cows won’t eat it.
Back in May 2017 the Devon Wildlife Trust helped us weedwipe rushes on Lower Newland Moor, and that has helped. The recent botany survey there found good biodiversity in the wetter parts of the field.
But herbicides are something we try to use only as a very-last resort, especially on Popehouse Moor. There, we’ve worked to control rushes by scything – which is slow hard work.
So we’re eager to hear how other farms manage rushes, especially if, like Cyril, their main aim is to build up Devon’s wildflowers. Incidentally, it was Cyril who gave us a barn owl box ten years ago, and helped us do the levels for our reshaped pond.
This meeting is organised by the Taw Valley Facilitation Group.
This time last year: A walk on the wild side – around the Wheatland Farm wildlife pond
This time in 2017: Making champagne with glorious elderflowers from our Devon hedgerows