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Burnet moth on devil’s bit scabious (Succisa pratensis) Image © Vicky Bowskill

Video: How hay makes meadows

PhD researcher, Vicky Bowskill, explains how meadow flowers are able to thrive, despite being mown for hay every summer. Further reading: Video: Yarnton and the importance of haymakingwww.floodplainmeadows.org.ukHaymaking is critical to our heritage hay meadows, but is later really better? Transcript This is a floodplain meadow. It’s mid-July and you can see that the swardContinue reading “Video: How hay makes meadows”

Meadows and robots and hay, oh my!

This week marks the end of my first year as a PhD student, my first year in Milton Keynes, my first field season and a number of other personal milestones, all set against the backdrop of a global pandemic. What a ride!

Video: The Art of Hay Sampling

This video was filmed during data collection in June and July 2020. PhD student, Vicky Bowskill, demonstrates how she is sampling floodplain meadow hay to investigate the way nutritional content changes, depending on when it is harvested. This can help land managers to maintain healthy meadows, whilst also providing a balanced diet for pasture-fed livestock.Continue reading “Video: The Art of Hay Sampling”

Hay Days project poster

This poster was created for the Open University 2020 poster competition. It can be downloaded in via Open Research Online. References French, K. E. (2017). Species composition determines forage quality and medicinal value of high diversity grasslands in lowland England. Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment, 241, 193–204. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.agee.2017.03.012 French, K. E., Harvey, J., & McCullagh, J.Continue reading “Hay Days project poster”

Haymaking is critical to our heritage meadows, but is later really better?

This article is published on the OpenLearn website and you can read the full version here. Meadows are not just about wildflowers, they’re also about hay as an agricultural crop. But they don’t make it like they used to. PhD student, Vicky Bowskill, explains how researching seasonal changes in the nutritional content of hay canContinue reading “Haymaking is critical to our heritage meadows, but is later really better?”


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