A wildflower meadow sown in Terryland Forest Park last year will be mown in the traditional manner on Saturday, using scythes and other hand-held implements, and volunteers are invited to go to the meadow and help with the hay-cutting and replanting.
Starting at 10.30am on Saturday, members of Cumann na bhFear, also known as Men’s Shed Ballinfoile, will use scythes to cut the long grass in the meadow, located near the Quincentenary Bridge.
“Last autumn, dozens of volunteers from Conservation Volunteers planted over one thousand native wildflowers in what was up until then a sterile lawn in Terryland," said Brendan Smith, one of the event organisers. "Their actions transformed it into a rainbow mosaic of yellow cowslip, red poppy, purple clover, pink ragged robin, white daisy oxeyes, and many other flowers. In times gone by, a 'meadow' was defined as a field set aside by farmers for the growing of long grass which was cut during the summer and autumn months to produce one or two crops of hay to serve as winter food for livestock. Because no chemical fertilizers were used, these meadows became important habitats for an array of colourful native wildflowers and would be alive with the sights and sounds of many varieties of bees, moths, butterflies, and other pollinators.
"Our aim is to re-introduce meadows back into the city and provide nectar-rich feeding havens for bees in particular which are in a serious decline worldwide due to industrialised monoculture farming, pesticides, habitat loss, pollution and climate change," Mr Smith added. "Bees and other pollinators are essential to the survival of humanity as the plants that they help to reproduce are responsible for one-third of all foods and beverages that we consume. So we are asking people to come along next Saturday to witness this ancient rural hay-cutting in action and to take part in planting nearly a thousand more wildflowers."
Light refreshments will be provided to all volunteers on the day.