Last Thursday we started on the creation of the Toryglen Marvellous Meadow and we made some great progress.
Throughout the day eight Urban Roots volunteers combined forces to start preparing the site in order to have it ready for sowing native wildflower seed. We carried out a number of important tasks. Firstly, we carried out a litter pick on the site which went on periodically throughout the day. The spoils of which were piled up to await collection from the council.
Next, we pulled out the Creeping Thistle, Rosebay Willowherb and Stinging Nettle from the site. These plants, although extremely useful to many insect species, are spread throughout the adjacent woodland and will take over the meadow if we let them remain; this will be at the expense of other less prevalent native plant species which have been not been able to get a hold in the site in the same way.
Next, we pruned back some of the Goat willow on the site to allow more light in and to ensure that we can get in and around the trees to clear any low lying vegetation. This will open up the space more and give more opportunity for the wildflowers on the site to put down roots and get a hold. Alongside all this we started to cut back the grass. This is the key task for the meadow preparation and one that has its own difficulties. We discovered that both hand sickles and the strimmer were able to make some headway; but, the thick coarse grasses have formed a dense sward which will require some hard work if we are to make a seedbed that will allow decent wildflower germinatin. Perhaps the next session will require a more hardy tool to get through the thick matt of Cock's Foot and Perennial Rye Grass that have come to dominate the site!
Having spent 4 hours making a start on the site, we finished up for the day and were able to admire our handiwork. Here's to looking forward to the next time, and the next grass cut!