(Above) Haymaking in the Meadow © Maurits Fontein (Below) Haymaking at Kingcombe © Maurits Fontein
Haymaking has been taking place at Kingcombe Meadows for centuries now and the cutting and turning of our wildflower meadows offers up many benefits, most notably the preservation of our beautiful meadows for the enjoyment of future generations.
The quality and continued management of these precious grasslands relies heavily on the traditional practices adopted by local farmers many years ago.
During the haymaking process the dried seeds ripening in the flower heads drop to the ground, ensuring a new generation of flowers and grasses can germinate.
The scented aromas of freshly cut grass -sweetened by the distinctive smell of sweet vernal grass- are reminiscent of long summer days and of a time when life seemed to unfold at a much slower pace.
On a more practical note however, the practice of haymaking means we have food to feed our cattle and sheep over winter when the reserves are too wet to graze without destroying the landscape we are trying to conserve.