Kipper’s Field, Cymau
This tiny little meadow high on the south-western slope of Hope Mountain was saved from ploughing by the present owners in the mid 1980s. It’s now home to an abundance of wild flowers, such as yellow rattle, red clover, rough hawkbit and common spotted orchid. These provide a rich feast for the honey bees that are kept on the site. The underlying geology is millstone grit but also limestone, so it’s no surprise to find beautiful quaking grass in the sward.
A hay cut is taken in September, allowing the bees to feed for as long as possible on late-flowering species including Devil’s-bit scabious. The late cut also gives ample time for the seed of common knapweed to ripen, which brings in flocks of goldfinches. Autumn also sees the appearance of many waxcap fungi, speckling the sward with their bright caps in yellow, red and orange.
Images © Stuart Smith, Natural Resources Wales
Species to spot
Best time to see: May - Sept.
A semi-parasitic flower, that feeds off nutrients in nearby grass roots. In doing so it helps restrict the vigorous grasses, allowing more delicate wildflowers to emerge. Its 'rattle' is from tiny seeds in their pods.
Best time to see: June - Sept.
A pink pin-cushion-like flower which our ancestors believed cured scabies (hence "scabious"). It has short, stubby roots which - according to legend - were bitten off by the Devil to prevent its healing powers.
Owned and managed by
Keith 'Kipper' Davies