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Meadows

Summer is a great time to look for butterflies as the meadows will be in full flower and covered with clouds of butterflies like, common blue, brimstone, red admiral and the elusive grayling.

 

Many flower species can be found on your travels, such as the yellow cowslips, primrose and birdsfoot trefoil, the pink willow herb and common century and the blue forget-me-not to name a but a few.  Some of the more rare flowers to be spotted are bee orchid, pyramidal orchid and butterfly orchid these can all be seen during the summer months.

 

Rabbits can be seen in meadows early morning and during the evening, these mammals have become very used to visitors and will happily continue feeding on the meadows while you pass by. You may also spot a fox, there are a few families that inhabit our country parks who may also be interested in the unsuspecting rabbits feeding on the meadow!

 

Dovecote fieldCosmeston Lakes Country Park

There are two large wildflower meadows at Cosmeston which stretch up to the far North. On the western side are the Dovecot fields, which are separated by Sully brook running through the middle. 

 

Cosmeston Lakes Country Park retains some areas of the original ancient flower rich grassland providing a place to feed and lay eggs for many types of butterfly. 

 

On the western side of the country park are the dovecot fields separated by sully brook running through the middle, it is here that the remains of a medieval dovecot can be seen. These fields are connected via a bridge. 

 

The grassland meadows at Cosmeston are cut once a year after the flowers have gone over and the cuttings removed, the dovecot fields are lightly grazed by cattle from October through to March, then also cut after the flowers have gone over and the cuttings removed. This management regime has helped to encourage growth and species diversity year on year. 

Porthkerry Country Park

The meadow runs through the centre of Porthkerry Park and has been grassland since medieval times.

 

A spring-fed stream runs along the western edge of the meadow and has a fantastic range of invertebrate and aquatic plant life (including reed mace, water parsnip and various mints). There is also a breeding toad population.

 

The stream is used in spring and summer for pond dipping with local schools. There is a large population of toads.

 

Two margins, one on the north and one on the south side are managed differently to encourage wildlife

 

The northern margin is kept as a spring wildflower meadow. One cut is taken each year and the cuttings are removed. Several mature oaks and a number of younger trees are planted here - many of which are memorials

 

The southern margin is kept as woodland fringe, where tree planting schemes have taken place and left to naturalise.

 

Working with the Woodland Trust, the Forestry Commission and Coed Cymru, large sections of the Four Fields are being developed as community woodland. Other parts are being left as meadow land, rich in colourful wild flowers, butterflies and lots of other insects.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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