Many of you will have noticed that the meadows at both Glebe Meadow and Barn Field have been cut this week.
Since so many new families have moved into the village, we thought we'd give you a quick update on this area of land within the village which is owned by the Parish Council and which is managed by TWiG (Tattenhall Wildlife Group). In addition, a recent letter to the Parish Council from a local resident questioned why Glebe Meadow and Barn Field were 'so overgrown and seemingly neglected' – in fact, nothing could be further from the truth!
Our Neighbourhood Plan identifies both of these 'green spaces' as sites of nature conservation value. They have been managed by TWiG for a number of years to enhance their biodiversity value.
Both fields comprise 'unimproved grassland' – extremely rare in Cheshire and lowland Britain. They have never been subjected to intensive agriculture and, as a consequence, contain a flora and fauna of great diversity. Glebe Meadow, in particular, contains twenty three different species of grass and up to twenty species of wildflower. This summer the annual butterfly count revealed that the grassland in Glebe Meadow provided suitable habitat for a significant number of small skipper butterflies – another uncommon species in Cheshire.
All of this has been achieved with the careful management of both fields over the past eight years or so – sometimes using cattle and, this year, having the field mown by a local contractor. This work was carried out under TWiG supervision and parts of Glebe Meadow were left uncut to benefit small skipper numbers and to allow their eggs and caterpillars to overwinter. On Barn Field, another section of the field was left uncut – dominated by the vivid purple knapweed – to provide an ongoing nectar source for bees, hoverflies and butterflies as Autumn approaches.
Next year, these areas will be cut, but other sections will be set aside as part of an annual rotation.
Maintenance of the hedge which is adjacent to Glebe Meadow and the pavement is the responsibility of the Parish Council and they are organising for this to be cut in the very near future.