Most of the fields on Kelston Roundhill are recently resown with a ryegrass and clover mix. This is good in that it allows organic grazing of cattle, and supports financially sustainable farming. It’s less good from a species diversity point of view, specifically wildflowers and grasses. This land is what wildlife people call “improved” (ie bad). But some of the fields are “semi-improved” (ie less bad), and one in particular – Roundhill field – is not much improved at all, ie quite good with a decent diversity of species.
Avon Wildlife Trust has just completed a species audit in four of the fields. In Roundhill itself, which is now left ungrazed April-August, they found 17 species of wildflower, 10 of grasses, and 35 other species (including various buttercups which evidently don’t qualify as wildflowers. Must ask). Full details below (pdf).
The recommendation is to “maintain” Roundhill – which they found quite interesting – and to restore the three other fields which are quite promising. (In wildlife vocab “restore” seems to mean undo damage done by “improvement”.) Here begins a great learning curve.
Thanks to Ellie Higginson and the Avon Wildlife team.
Btw if any local wildlife photographer wants to collaborate on recording progress we’d be pleased to hear from them.