The grass has gone crazy!
Wednesday 19th September 2012
The effects of the wet summer are causing havoc with Northumberland Wildlife Trust’s Estates Team as the grass has grown at twice the normal speed and it is twice as much as usual…and it all needs to be cut this month!
This may not seem a very big issue, but when you consider that the wildlife charity has over 60 nature reserves, it becomes quite a headache for Geoff Dobbins, Senior Estates Officer.
The grass has already been cut at a number of reserves including East Cramlington Pond in East Northumberland and Briarwood Banks, East Crinkledykes Quarry and South Close Filed - all of which are in the Tyne Valley.
Large areas of bracken have also been ‘bashed’ and cut at Whitelee Moor which is next to the A68 between Catcleugh Reservoir and Carter Bar.
In the next couple of weeks an army of Estates volunteers will set to work cutting the grass on the Trust’s reserves at Close House, Beltingham and Williamston, again in the Tyne Valley.
Work on the Holywell Pond reserve is on hold until next year as the ground is still damp and there hasn’t been enough of a dry spell for it to dry out before cutting; extra sheep will be moved onto the site over the winter to counter this.
Geoff said: “We are not sure if the wet weather this year is a result of climate change which experts have been warning about for a long time now. The arctic ice sheets are the smallest they’ve ever been which may be causing changes in wind patterns - resulting in the jet stream moving further south and leading to an increase in rainfall in England and drier weather in Scotland.
“Whatever is causing the grass to grow, my volunteers are working twice as hard to manage it -without them, and my job would be a lot harder.”