The two small recipient sites (total 2.95ha) at Mosswood Water Treatment Works in Northumberland are managed by Northumbrian Water Limited (NWL) with the aim to create grassland and move towards traditional upland hay meadow management. At present the grassland areas are cut and the hay removed; in future the aim is to introduce grazing with sheep. After a botanical survey completed in June 2016 by the North Pennines AONB Partnership’s Dr Ruth Starr-Keddle, the sites were deemed to be suitable for restoration. The recipient sites included a few wildflower species such as ox-eye daisy but were mainly species-poor.
Once the hay had been cut and cleared by a local farmer in late August, green hay was harvested using the Amazon groundkeeper from the nearby flower-rich SSSI donor meadow and spread straight away onto the sites using a cleaned out muck spreader. Before the green hay was added, the sites were scarified using a spring tine harrow. The green hay contained species such as yellow rattle, red clover, eyebright, meadowsweet and great burnet. The work was undertaken by the North Pennines AONB Partnership and local contractors Niels and Tom Kristensen who own harvesting and spreading equipment. The AONB Partnership works alongside Niels and Tom, undertaking upland hay meadow restoration all over the North Pennines.
Photos © Ruth Starr-Keddle