Richard and Jo Cuzens at Littleton Cheney in Dorset kindly sent in these images.
Following an Italian ryegrass silage mix the field was sown in August 2019 with a Cotswold Seeds’ overseeding mixture consisting of herbs and legumes. It began to rain shortly after the mixture was sown and never really stopped! During the wet winter the crop suffered with charlock invasion but this was eaten off by the cows when strip grazed in April. The stalks were topped off after the first grazing and the ley was left until it grew to waist high and then strip grazed again. These photos are of the third grazing. Sadly the sainfoin was smothered but there’s still plenty to appeal to pollinators. ‘When moving the electric fence each day, all you can hear is a buzz from the bees at work in the field,’ says Richard. The cows love it too and Richard says how, in terms of grazing the ley has out-performed grass by more than double. ‘Four acres gives more than two weeks grazing for twenty-one cows. Plus, any stalks or trodden in bits are valuable carbon being returned to the soil - not wasted grazing. 75% eaten/ 25% soil carbon enhancement!’
Date Posted: 19th August 2020