March 2023 – Overview of progress to date
The arable site was in good condition. Baseline sampling took place after the spring barley harvest and no specific remedial work was required at the site.
Fencing to protect planting where required
Permanent fencing due to the population of vertebrate grazers in the proximity as well as the proximity of the busy riverside bridle has been recommended. If this is not possible, temporary rabbit fencing will be used in an attempt to protect newly establishing crops from grazing pressure from the rabbits.
Standard autumn ground preparation
Once baseline sampling was complete, the site received a glyphosate application to kill any arable volunteers. All areas were then ploughed. Areas for Miscanthus and other energy grasses were left in plough over winter. Areas for woody species were power-harrowed and winter wheat was established.
The site was monitored over winter and in February and March the following was reported:
- The site has been extremely wet over the winter and spring.
- Lots of deer prints (and dog prints) in the fallow area.
- Walkers and riders from the nearby bridleway regularly access the site.
Spring ground preparation
- Despite the wet weather glyphosate has been successfully applied to the site.
- Demo Plots SRF, SRF POP and SRF EUC are to be sprayed off with glyphosate using a knapsack to facilitate planting these areas.
- When mechanical access is possible, and pre-cultivation, P2O5 and K2O will be applied based on the data from the baseline soil analysis made in December.
- The pH of the site is 5.6. Lime will be added at a rate to adjust to pH 7.