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A recreational area of varied natural landscape and wildlife.

Grass Cutting on Hell Wath

11.08.2023 | Latest News

Hell Wath meadows used to be cut annually by local farmers, with the grass being baled and taken for hay, but this is no longer feasible. Without cutting, the species of grasses and wildflowers will reduce significantly, and the meadows will become unattractive to our native insects and butterflies.

The plan is now to cut smaller areas of the meadows periodically, which should reverse the decline in diversity of grasses and flowers. This will be supplemented by sowing suitable wildflower seeds and planting suitable seedlings when appropriate.

A group of volunteers from Open Country came to Hell Wath on Tuesday 8th and Friday 11th August to cut grass on the top meadow near the Choir School using a mechanical scythe. This work was agreed to be carried out and funded by North Yorkshire Council as part of long term plans to improve the Hell Wath meadows.

Cut areas have also been raked by the volunteers to remove the grass cuttings. This reduces nutrients going back into the soil which is better for encouraging the development of grassland meadows.

FOHW were advised that NYC could not remove these grass cuttings from Hell Wath, so in accordance with instructions, volunteers piled them up adjacent to the mown areas. FOHW are aware that this is not ideal and are currently exploring ways in which these piles of grass cuttings could be removed from site in the near future. If anyone has any ideas or suggestions please let us know !