We are pleased to announce that the mowing of rides, glades and paths at Hazeland has been completed! This is a really important step in maintaining the open spaces which have been built into the design of Hazeland and which are key for a healthy woodland, for biodiversity to thrive and for access.
Rides are corridors of open space at the edge of woodland that encourage a range of different species to move in – the edges of woodland are where biodiversity is often at its richest. These spaces are also essential in enabling our staff, volunteers, and visitors to move around, for the management and enjoyment of the site.
Glades are open spaces within planted areas which let light and air in and which attract a variety of butterflies and other species.
It is important that open areas are cut once or twice a year, to strip nutrients that have built up from years of agricultural use from the soil. Over time, cutting will reduce the more vigorous grasses, leaving more room for other species such as flowering plants to establish along the rides. These in turn provide nectar for bees and other pollinating insects.
The rides at Hazeland amount to a lengthy 2km, across sometimes difficult terrain, and this presented quite a challenge for the team. After much deliberation, they opted for mechanised grass cutting. Although cutting with scythes was considered, this was clearly too big a site for this traditional but time-consuming method. Having moved a fence and achieved the first hurdle of getting the machinery on site, they then had to work carefully to make sure nothing was damaged on the fragile site, which was still waterlogged in places.
We are thrilled to have secured the knowledge we need to complete this project, which is a really significant step in ensuring the careful management of our Hazeland site for access and biodiversity.