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Author Topic: Rewidling / biodiversity alongside livestock  (Read 477 times)

Sherlock2207

  • Joined Mar 2021
  • Perth & Kinross
Rewidling / biodiversity alongside livestock
« on: May 22, 2022, 01:14:51 pm »
Hi all

We have 14 acres in central Scotland, which is split into 2 pastures. Along one side of one and the bottom of both is woodland (actually a steep gorge with a river running through it), and a well-established hedge with several large trees splits the two pastures. The pastures are basically grass with daisies and docks and a bit of clover. 

What we're interested in doing is overseeding the pasture to create more biodiversity, and I've been doing some reading about wildflowers and also chicory, plantain, willow, and comfrey.

We are also considering splitting the pastures into smaller sections, and putting in more hedging (and some trees) as wildlife corridors (with fencing as well). We'd also like to put in a natural pond (or a few smaller ponds), and an orchard.

At the moment we don't have any livestock bar some chickens, but do have some sheep coming. We're also considering some other livestock as well (goats, cattle, pigs). However - the land won't be overstocked (we'll be understocking) as we're aware of it being a fine balance between grazing being beneficial or harmful.

Anyway - what I would really like is to 'buddy up' with someone or a few people who have done similar, even if you've only done eg a pond or wildflowers and not both, because it all seems a bit overwhelming and I'd really like someone to chat to me (and in a perfect world show me) what you've done and how you went about it.

As I said, we're in central Scotland but happy to travel north / south / east / west for an hour or so. If you're nowhere near me, then maybe messaging / video call would work too.

Thanks in advance!
« Last Edit: May 22, 2022, 01:19:35 pm by Sherlock2207 »

Anke

  • Joined Dec 2009
  • St Boswells, Scottish Borders
Re: Rewidling / biodiversity alongside livestock
« Reply #1 on: May 22, 2022, 05:06:14 pm »
With only 14 acres - and some of it quite steep?? - you will struggle to accommodate cattle. If you google "Tap O' Noth farm" - check out their youtube channel they have done something similar on 8 acres.

ToTheManorBorn

  • Joined May 2022
Re: Rewidling / biodiversity alongside livestock
« Reply #2 on: May 27, 2022, 09:50:32 pm »
Hello. I'm new here and not the experienced buddy you are looking for but was interested in your post as it sounds like you have similar aims to us when it come to managing/modifying grassland to benefit wildlife.
My quick thought/question is - have you had the pasture long and do you know it's history? If it's been pasture a long time but has been unmanaged. mismanaged or intensively grazed, it may be that you already have lots of native seeds lying dormant just waiting for your low intensity grazing (or hay cutting) to give them a chance to grow. If you're lucky, just putting some animals on may start to give you the biodiversity gain you want without the hassle and expence of over-seeding.
Simon

 

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