As the summer comes to an end we are at the time of year when the mini-meadows (and larger chalk grassland areas) are cut. The timing of this is a bit of a balancing act between cutting to leave late flowering species like Yarrow, Scabious and Wild Marjoram and not leaving it so late as to let the grasses take over.
A margin of longer grass is left around the edges as invertebrates such as Crickets need this habitat and it’s also important for Bumblebees who make their nests in tussocky grass. It also provides an area of refuge for small mammals.
It’s really important that the cuttings, or ‘arisings’ are removed from the meadow. This reduces soil fertility which is the key to encouraging wildflowers. The meadow is then left over the Winter and may be cut in the Spring before being left to flower again.