Halford Flood Meadow Diary

April 2023

27 Apr 2023

The ups and downs of managing a flood meadow

Finally we reached the engrossment stage of the environmental agreement (S39) between Warwickshire County Council and Storm Wildlife. Polly and I went into the solicitors and signed the agreement which commits us to manage the meadow as described in the management plan for the next 30 years. It has taken 20 months from the date of the first survey to reaching the point where we can start providing Biodiversity units to developers that need to meet thier biodiversity targets - this is a real milestone in the history of this meadow.

The scrapes were seeded (EM08 Wetland mix) in early March and also three test areas of Meadow mix in the open field areas. Unfortunately in early April the meadow flooded and it is thought that we probably lost the seed as it was washed away with the flood! It's a risky business sowing seed - you need it warm and wet so the seed germinates and sets down some roots, but too much rain and the river floods before germination resulting in seed being lost downstream. Hopefully downstream floodplains and river banks will benefit from the lost seed as some will find good conditions to establish on the Stour and Avon as the years go by. One good thing the floods brought was water to the new scrapes. The picture here shows how well the water held in the scrape - some scrapes held water for 3 weeks, others a matter of days, it will be intersting to see if this changes over time.

by Mike Hopkins