Help needed

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Susan Williams
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Location: Ugborough Devon
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Help needed

Post by Susan Williams »

I am a member of the Greener Ugborough Parish group and we have been given permission by the Parish Council to develop a 0.5 acre area of the Ugborough Burial ground. We are making plan to establish a wildflower meadow. At the moment it is dominated by what I think is Cocksfoot grass.I have read from this site that it is very aggressive and unable to co-exist with wild flowers. Any advise would be gratefully received.
More Meadows
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Re: Help needed

Post by More Meadows »

Hi Susan,
You are right that is cock's foot grass. It is a coarse grass, with large tussocks often associated with ungrazed/ unmanaged grassland, although it can often be a component of quite species-rich swards too, but usually as much smaller plants.
The key thing is to understand that it takes time and continued management to restore a flower rich meadow. It would be worth doing a soil test and a plant survey to look at what options are open to you. See these steps and advice before making any decisions

Rather than repeat much of the advice about creating and restoring meadows that is elsewhere on this forum, I would suggest watching a couple of talks to get you familiar with the process, and a few online resources that are quite useful. If you take a look at the posts about managing churchyards viewtopic.php?f=21&t=80 and some general videos about meadow creation and restoration here viewtopic.php?f=73&t=70

I hope that's helpful
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Steve Pollard
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Re: Help needed

Post by Steve Pollard »

As Tracey says, cocksfoot is usually associated very fertile or undermanaged grassland. In the churchyard I imagine the grass has been cut once or twice a year and left without collecting. It's not impossible to turn a cocksfoot dominant sward into a wildlflower meadow, but if given a choice I would choose a different area or turn it into rough grassland for barn owls. As you will have to work with what you have, you won't, as Tracey says, have immediate results, and you may have to initially concentrate on reducing soil fertility and lessening the cocksfoot's dominance by cutting and collecting regularly. Good luck.
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