Along with a new pond, orchard trees, and hedge maintenance, these features will bring nature back into this urban green space. Additional pathways, seating, and signage will help residents and visitors to access and enjoy the wilder space.
An urban meadow can be a mini-wilderness, full of colours and scents, and crawling with critters which use the habitat to shelter, feed and build nests. Over the years they become even richer in different plant and animal species, as long as they are well managed. In a time when wild mammals would wander, they would have ‘managed’ meadows by nibbling away at the delicious range of plants on offer. This would prevent any single species becoming too dominant, allowing a wider diversity of plants to flourish.
Nowadays management of meadows often involves mowing with petrol-hungry, noisy, oily lawnmowers. But the popularity of the scythe is making a comeback, in no small part thanks to Ross Poldark’s topless antics. Before machinery was readily available, scythes were the tool of choice for meadow management, whose long, razor-sharp blade cuts quietly and effectively through grass and flower stems.
Scythes surpass mowers on many levels. They are not only quiet and fuel-free but also give resident creatures a little more time to get out of the way. Using a scythe is a meditative experience, a chance to get some fresh air, social interaction and physical exercise.