The Plot is managed to comply with the requirements of Natural England’s Higher Level Stewardship Scheme which involves
- Not using artificial fertilisers or lime
- Not applying Herbicides except for spot applications on noxious weeds in the pasture
- Cutting the hedges in a particular rotational pattern to allow birds nesting places and winter food.
- Taking a crop of hay from the Meadow to a particular timescale, giving the vegetation time to drop seed and also to allow ground nesting birds time to have raised their brood.
The yearly timetable of tasks involves Harrowing in early Spring to remove old feggy grass and to stimulate fresh new growth, also to level Mole hills. Topping of the pasture is carried out in mid Summer to prevent Thistles seeding and to again remove old tough grass and to stimulate new fresh growth.
The Cattle have to be looked after and observed daily for any issues, because just like humans they are susceptible to cold and wet conditions and to infections and illness.
The paths have to be mown and strimmed, trees checked and pruned if necessary. All fences and gates have to be kept in good repair to contain the cattle. Dog fouling on the footpaths and on the pasture and hay meadow has to be monitored and actively discouraged, this is for both Human and Cattle health reasons (Toxocara Cannis) .
Litter is sometimes an issue, luckily we have a few dedicated Plot walkers who have undertaken the onerous task of cleaning up after other less thoughtful people.
This is just a brief note of what is needed each year to keep Your Plot in good shape. If you have any concerns or even feel you would like to contribute to the well-being of Stone Common Plot please get in touch via the contact link.
The Plot is a ‘self financing’ Registered Charity run by a band of Trustees. They rely on Grazing charges and Hay income, Grants, Donations and Bequests. Contrary to general belief there is no direct funding received from any tier of Local Government.