|Parc y Fferws â€“ back in bloom (well a bit of it anyway!)|
Llanedi community council approached the council last year about an area of Parc y Fferws in Llanedi to see if it had potential to be managed for biodiversity. The idea had come after a presentation to Community Councils on their responsibilities for biodiversity. Previously the park was species-rich marshy grassland but is now cut regularly to create the play area. What differs about the management here though is the fact that the mowings (aka arisings) are removed and not left to rot down into the ground. This would enrich the soil with nutrients and allow grasses to dominate. Also it does not appear that fertilizers have been used. The Community Council agreed to manage an area in the corner of the park as a hay meadow, i.e. let the grass grow and cut and remove the arisings in August. This would allow the flowers to grow and set seed. It would be an opportunity for local people to see the type of habitat that was once more widespread in the area.
Visits during the summer revealed that most of the ‘hay meadow’ area was quite species rich. Whorled caraway, the county flower, was quite widespread. This is a good indicator of the unimproved damp grassland habitat. Common spotted and southern marsh orchids were found along with a range of other grasses, sedges, mosses and flowering plants. Bees, butterflies and grasshoppers were seen and heard throughout the area – bring the site alive with the bonus of a hummingbird hawk moth being seen on the honeysuckle in the scrub on the edge of the area.
Hopefully Llanedi Community council will agree to continue to manage this small area as a hay meadow. Next year we can add a small sign explaining to local people what they can see there.