The Tweed Meadows Project
Merlindale Nature has recieved £180,894 of funds thanks to support from NatureScot, the South of Scotland Enterprise, and the Fallago Environment Fund. The project now includes 24 landowners across the Borders spanning the Tweed River catchment.
99 per cent of upland hay meadows have been lost across the British Isles since the Second World War. In the Scottish Borders this loss has been even greater with the landowner of the only known extant examples of hay meadow under active management remaining, those at Newhall Farm, seeking to participate in this project.
This loss of meadows has led to a catastrophic loss of flora and fauna associated with one of our most biodiverse habitats. This project will galvanise action and generate momentum to reverse these losses in the Borders. Working in partnership with sympathetic landowners the project will reintroduce mowing and grazing management to restore neglected meadows. Where diverse flora has been lost, new areas of flower-rich hay meadow will be created.
The Tweed Meadows Project Timeline
Merlindale Nature receives £180,894 of funds from NatureScot, the South Scotland Enterprise, and the Fallago Environment Fund.
The original 18 sites for the Meadows Project are surveyed by ecologists Luke Gascall and Sarah Eno
The project officially welcomes PhD student Apithanny Borne as well as Maxine Easey for the positions of project manager, and financial manager. Mowing Machinery is also purchased.
Each of the 24 sites are prepared. This involves seed sowing, and grazing using traditional cattle species which reduce the grass height and provide open patches for seeds to grow.
The meadow sites begin to experience growth as the days and temperatures increase. Flowers such as yellow rattle parasitize dominant grasses providing growth opportunities for many plant species.
The meadow sites officially finish flowering and are mown by a combination of horse-drawn, tractor-drawn, and walk behind machinery.
New sites are prepared for the new year.