Meadow maintenance and willow fencing

Wednesday 3rd December 2014

On 20th November, I accompanied Urban Roots’ volunteers to continue maintenance of the meadow site at Malls Mire Community Woodland. The work to be done on the meadow remains high, even in the winter months, if we are to have the best possible chance of seeing the wonderful wildflowers blooming next year and bringing enjoyment to both local residents, and local pollinator populations.

We completed three main tasks during the overcast, but unusually warm, Glasgow weather:

1. We began weeding patches of the site that seemed to be most susceptible to take over by coarse grasses like Cock’s Foot (Dactylus glomerata). During this process, we discussed some of the benefits of creating a small meadow like this in such a built up urban area and thought about why it might be good for both wildlife and people. I hope that our discussion made the work just that little bit more enjoyable!

2. We raked the site very lightly to remove most of the leaves that had fallen from the nearby Goat Willows (Salix caprea). This had the immediate effect of revealing many of the tiny seedlings that have sprouted from the native wildflower mix which we sowed in october. The seedlings will now have more space and light, and will not be easily exposed to rot from dead leaves. Furthermore, the rotting leaves will have added nutrients to the soil, which would have further benefitted the coarse grasses and ‘weedy’ flowering species that we are trying to discourage.

3. We pollarded a Goat Willow and began using the cut material to create a low willow-woven fence. The aim of the fence is to give the meadow an artistic, interesting and natural finish, and highlight how locally sourced materials can be used to great effect. The fence is already looking great and, as it sits besides a well used footpath and road, will be seen by a large number of those in the local community.
As the winter rolls on, we hope to continue maintaining the site and building the woven fence, so that the meadow is raring to go, come spring.