Halford Flood Meadow Diary

March 2024

28 Mar 2024

Snake's-head fritillary pops up!

Last autumn we planted 100 snake's-head fritillary bulbs in 20 different areas of the meadow. We can report that some have flowered  in the last few days! This will give us an indication of where in the meadow they favour, so if we plant more bulbs in the future we can target these areas.

by Mike Hopkins

19 Mar 2024

Early spring shows positive signs.

Halford Flood Meadow has certainly played its part in flood alleviation this winter. The river has come over the lowered bank at the upstream end of the meadow eight times since October '23. It will be interesting to see what the river has brought with it - seeds, nutrients, undesirables - probably a combination of all of these. The three acres that were seeded with Emorsgate 08 seed mix is producing a good display of Lesser Celandine at the moment. This yellow early flowering perennial is new to the meadow this year and isn't in the Emorsgate mix. It is noticeably more dominant in the seeded area of the meadow than the non-seeded areas, this is possibly because of the scarifying in the autumn, opening up the soil to allow seeds to germinate that have been lying dormant in the seed bank for a number of years or have been dispersed via flooding from upstream sources. There are also seedlings emerging in the seeded area, at this stage it is difficult to tell exactly what they are, but the area is noticeably richer in species than any other part of the meadow - so very promising signs.

There have been four enquiries to purchase Biodiversity Net Gain units from the meadow and there are 24 units left to sell. These units can be sold to offset developments throughout England but are more financially viable for developments within the boundaries of Stratford District Council and Dunsmore and Feldon.

Will the seedlings that are emerging survive anymore flooding in the meadow? What are the seedlings? How much nutrient has the persistent winter flooding brought into the meadow? How quickly will the units sell? Whatever happens it will be interesting!

by Mike Hopkins